Practice and Photography

I have been a photographer for more years than I can count on my fingers and my toes combined.  I have read a lot of the books and magazine articles that tell you how to do it.  But there is one thing the books and magazines seldom mention.  That is practice.

Since I tend to focus on the small stuff–butterflies, other insects, and flowers, and I live in an area that has four seasons, my photography becomes seasonal.  And I am out of practice for the butterfly photography.


Friday I was chasing the few butterflies that showed up around our property (there were three species, and maybe only five or six individuals).  I am out of shape.  Chasing butterflies requires a certain amount of stalking–I was moving when I shouldn’t have been.  I knew what settings I wanted on my camera, but sometimes I did not have it set right.  Then there is the search image–if you follow a butterfly around with your eyes, you need to be able to see where it lands.  There is a skill to that which is developed with practice.  And I am rusty.

Seeing the image, getting the right composition and focus, eliminating backgrounds–all of that is sharpened with practice.

Think of photography like you would think of playing a musical instrument.  If you are an accomplished musician but you do not play for a few weeks (or maybe even a day or two), when you pick it up again you will notice the difference.

If you are a photographer, try to take pictures every day.  Don’t let your skills get rusty.


About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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One Response to Practice and Photography

  1. Well put. I find myself in the same place post-winter!

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