Thursday, 9 June 2016

Five challenges for 'Advanced' Photographers

One of my workshops is Digital Photography Advanced. Partcipants are usually pretty cluey, experienced types with two bags full
'I bought these boots in Paris' she said
of some full-on DSLR gear.

We play around with a lot of technical gizmo stuff inside cameras like D lighting control, customised picture styles, intervalometers and so on. The practical assignments challenge not just technical skills but rapid innovative thinking, leadership, initiative and ethics. Its all part of being a thinking photographer rather than a photographic lemming (or lemon).

During the workshop I pose five questions:

1. What is the fastest shutter speed on your camera? When did you last use it? What was your subject? Most photographers have never used their fastest shutter speed. And if your fastest speed happens to be 1/8000 second I show them how to make it faster than 1/8000. (Yes, it can be done on almost all cameras.)

Shoalwater Bay 'The Pond'
2. If I gave you a $1,000,000 and 48 hrs to spend it what subject would you choose to shoot? Its an interesting question with a myriad of even more interesting answers. But there's a twist in the question because most times you discover you don't need the $1m. What you do need is the intestinal fortitude, motivation and 'do it' attitude.

3. From your whole life in photography, no matter whether it be long or short, what is your one 'favourite' or 'best' photo. The one that says 'This represents me'; 'this is my signature style'. If you haven't got one, you'd better get cracking.  Unlike your images, you're not going to last forever!

4. What steps are you taking right now to get your investment in photography today contributing to your superannuation in your latter years? So when you're on vacation in Bali with your feet up, soaking up a long macchiato and chocolate croissant ……are your photographs busily working for you?

5. How many 'accidents' have you had in photography in the last 8 weeks?  Show me the photographer who has never made any mistakes and I'll show you the photographer who's never made anything. Take risks, manufacture mistakes, accept 'accidents' and work with them.

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