One lesson I have learned since I began my photography journey is to understand that photography is a never-ending learning process. I am always fascinated listening to experts discuss human behaviors and one that particularly stands out in today’s society is a lack of patience to allow a process to occur naturally over time. It took me a long while to learn this lesson and I still struggle with it at times.
Learning is always difficult, or it should be for most. You should want to be challenged. Nothing easy is great. We live in a world where we do not have to wait for many things anymore. Amazon can now deliver some items on the same day. If we need an answer Siri can usually give it to us immediately. If we want to tell someone something we can send them a text message without worrying about if they answer the phone or not. Fast food joints are everywhere supplying food around the clock. Point is we do not have to wait long for normal day items. This, however, can set us up for failure with learning.
The web constantly pushes things in front of you every time you browse. No one is ever talking about “being patient” but you can find plenty of ads saying “Click me now.” Photography is no different. Companies constantly push their Lightroom Presets to the public for $20-$30. I ask you this though, do you realize anything in a preset you can learn how to do yourself? Also, presets are built based on certain photos a photographer took. You will not have the same lighting they had to create that amazing look. If you take the time to learn more about processing you become more powerful with your craft.
For the longest, I never knew a whole lot about photoshop. Even today I’d still tell you I have a lot to learn. I made a conscious decision to learn Photoshop because Lightroom could no longer do everything I wanted to do. I knew going in that it would be difficult, but our brains are so amazing on what they can do. I had no choice but to be patient during the process. I was ready to quit at times. One day it all clicked and now is second nature.
Taking photos is the same. Constantly practicing and failing. So many people are afraid to fail when it’s actually the best thing that could happen to you. When you fail, you have to ask yourself why so that you can learn from the experience. If you fail twice in a row and have no idea why consult someone. Night photography has been my largest passion since I started photography. Too many failures to count, but I constantly pick myself back up and try again. You can’t get down on yourself and quit. Break through that wall. You might fail 1,000 times, but the one time you get it will make you forget all of the failures.
So learn to fight against society and how it trains us to want instant gratification and learn to embrace the process. It’s a marathon, not a race. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Stay focused on your goal and people will notice.