Having a photographer’s eye is awesome, but what if one day you’ll go blind?
Seeing is very important. It’s been part of our life since we were born. We learned to see from our early life. We learn to see how to recognize faces, how to eat, how to drink, how to go to school, how to read, but none of these would help me photograph.
Everyone has experienced struggles with their craft. How to do it; where to buy the best materials; If there are available tools, they’re too expensive; what should be my style or how should my images look; to put a filter on my image or not. . . 40% of these I experienced, but 60% of my struggle is I can’t See. I have the heart but I lost my sight as a photographer or maybe, I don't really have the eye from the start. I am not saying I am blind; I still have my physical vision. But what is having a vision if you can’t See? This is my struggle as a shutterbug.
Having owned my very first camera years ago, at first, I was too excited to take images of mugs, flowers, pebbles, and sand, because I’ve seen this from magazines, internet, Instagram, Facebook. Well, yeah seeing these objects through my lens look differently awesome. The question is what am I photographing? Eventually, it became boring and I ignored them.
The problem with seeing is, it is so easy and normal that we ignore things that do not interest us because it’s so common. Who would ever photograph a piece of a ball point pen?
Who would ever take an image of a man driving his sidecar with junks?
I want to see more. This gave me the urge to invest in new lenses, new camera, accessories, tripods, monopods even though I cannot afford them. I used to ask others what camera they use because it’s so clean and sharp. I even tried comparing my images to other photographers and end up disappointed because am no good as them. What I was doing was not making photographs but a copycat of how they see a particular scene. I tried reading books, watching video tutorials, but only I got how to compose, how to shoot sharp, how to use the M.A.S.P., ISO, and WB. No one was/is teaching me how to See.
Nothing is wrong with those things I mentioned above if we are just starting photography but when we are in this art for how many years, we know already how it works but we can’t make a photograph, it only shows us two things, we are not growing and we are avoiding the real problem and solution, ourselves.
Am back to square one, or zero…
Now am trying to gain back my sight by following these three (3) great photographer norms:
1. Chase Jarvis: “The best camera is the one that is in you!” I shoot with my cheap mobile phone now for my street photography and with a Mirrorless camera having 20-50mm, f 3.5-5.6 lens for semi-formal events. No need to buy a fancy camera or cheap camera to make us a better shutterbug, just make a photograph out of our camera. How?
2. Bryan Petterson: “Keep Shooting!” Perfecting a piece requires constant practice. Then keep practicing the perfect practice to make it constantly perfect. Bear in mind that how we see things around us depends on our life’s background. By an endless practice of shooting, our own selves can See beyond what we are used to see. Then. . .
3. Gavin Hoey: “Take and make great photographs” Gavin used to have his video on YouTube 15 minute photo challenge using one camera, one lens, one location anywhere, any place, and any environment condition. It doesn’t matter where we are, what camera we are holding, and what condition we are into (am not speaking of something bad) because what only matters is HOW WE SEE AND CAPTURE WHAT WE HAVE SEEN.
It’s already a long post so am gonna end this here. I’ll post soon my progress in photography as a shutterbug.