It’s a multi-week voyage of discovery that I think has the power to help propel your photography forward this year. It starts today, and we’ll pick it back up next Friday. You in for something fun that will make a difference? Great – let’s get started.
DAY ONE (today):
Go on Instagram and find 20 to 25 images of the exact type of photos you want to be making. So, let’s say you’re into landscapes — in the Instagram Search type in Landscapes, and scroll through the list of images and when you come across an image that makes you say to yourself, “Yes! That’s the exact type of image I would love to be making” take a screen capture of that image (it will save it to your camera roll). If you don’t know how to make a screen capture on your phone, Google it.
That’s all you have to do for today, Day One, but it’s a VERY important step. Be thoughtful about your choices, because your journey begins with identifying exactly which type of photos you want to be making.
This is a great thing to do this weekend. Get a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine), carve out some uninterrupted time and really give this some thoughtful consideration; make those screencaps, and we’ll regroup for Day Two next week. :)
#TravelTuesday with Dave sure comes around quick, doesn’t it! I’m back!
From time to time we may need to remind ourselves about why we work so hard at photography and don’t seem to get anywhere, be it for any number of reasons ranging from being stuck in a rut or for trying to achieve something time after time that fails. Like me, trying to get a shot of a lighthouse in front of a huge chalk cliff and failing several times in my efforts before finally getting the shot!
It took me three attempts to get that shot, and I even got capsized in my kayak in the process. But anyway, the point is this: –
Make your big goals more manageable by breaking them into smaller tasks.
Remind yourself why you’re doing it.
Remember the good feelings.
Use your strengths.
Decide to take action.
That’s it, that’s the list!
Okay, I’ll explain. If we have a big goal, it’s harder to achieve it. If we have a setback, it’s likely to put us off altogether if our goal is big. Whereas, if we break up our big goal into smaller, more manageable tasks we’re far more likely to succeed because those small tasks are accomplishments that together lead to achieving our big goal. If we fail at one of the small tasks, we’re far more likely to keep trying to overcome the problem because of number three—the good feelings.
The good feelings we get when we achieve something stick with us, but in moments where we feel that perhaps we aren’t hitting our targets or realising our goals, taking a moment to remind ourselves of the good feelings will help to spur us on even further. Taking that feeling and reminding ourselves why we’re doing something is valuable. That reminder as to why can often be enough to pick us up when we feel like we aren’t getting anywhere, and perhaps it’s that one occasion when we remind ourselves that we suddenly make progress where we weren’t before.
Pushing to number four (because this is obviously in order from the above list), we need to use our strengths, and in order for that to happen effectively, we need to recognise them—and our weaknesses! Knowing comprehensibly what our strengths are will help us to achieve goals, but knowing what our weaknesses are will help as well.
And, finally, take action! There are a lot of people out there doing nothing much aside from telling other people how they should be doing things. Don’t be that person—the person who says it can’t be done is usually interrupted by the person doing it.
So, if you have a shot in mind that’s particularly challenging, don’t give up on it! Persist, come up with a game plan, and keep trying. Pick yourself up when you fail, dust yourself off, and get it done.
The thing that motivated me to write this is the shot above. I was researching shots of Beachy Head Light in the UK and noticed they’re all very much alike. I wanted to be different. I knew the topography of the area was such that the enormous white, chalk cliff was essentially a hill, tapering off on either side of the lighthouse, and I wanted to feature that in my shot. I tried three times to get the shot, capsizing in a kayak and sliding all the way down the hill on my behind, but I didn’t let these things put me off and I got my shot.
Don’t give up. If something fails, try something else. And, then something else. Remind yourself why you did it, identify which of your strengths will help you, break down the task, remember the good feelings, and take action.
P.S. My Sunrise Challengehas just one week left – get your entries in for a chance to win big!
The new issue of “Light It Magazine” (issue #8) is out, and available in Apple’s Newsstand App on the iPad (it’s only $2.99. Crazy cheap!), and (BIG NEWS) we are currently beta-testing the Android version and so far the testing is going great (the mag looks and works great — just a couple more things to address before we release it, so it won’t be long now).
This issue I’ve got a behind-the-scenes “Photo Recipes”food shoot using two Westcott TD-6 Spiderlites along with some things you can pick up at your local hardware store (seen above).
This is one of my favorite issues so far. Great stuff from Joel Grimes (you’re seeing the opening page above, which includes an embedded video), plus Frank Doorhof always brings great stuff, and there’s lots of cool stuff cover to cover.
It’s available now, so I hope you’ll check out the new issue, (which costs less than the price of about any McDonald’s Extra Value meal, which that unto itself either says a lot what an incredible value this magazine is, or about how expensive Extra Value meals have become). ;-)
P.S.We now have annual subscriptions available for just $19.99. Insane-o cheap. Cheaper than dinner at Chili’s (well, if you at least order chicken Fajita’s, some chips and salsa, and maybe a Corona) and you get a whole year of issues. Seriously, that’s hundreds of pages of lighting techniques, so subscribe at the App store right this very minute before your fajitas get cold.
First, watch the video below which explains the challenge, and the five things you need to do to complete the challenge, which is actually designed to stretch your creativity and give you a greater appreciation of the photographers who came before digital. So, start by watching this short video now:
So, what you’re going to do is shoot with your digital camera like it was a traditional film camera, but just for one day, and for just one “roll of film.” (but I’m not letting you off that easy. Keep reading on page 2:
Tomorrow I’m going to reveal something really new, fun, and challenging:
It’s something we’ll be doing together every month, but each time it will be somewhat different (it’s not the Worldwide Photo Walk, but news on that is coming soon).
This is something that will help us all expand our photographic skills, our Photoshop skills, our Lightroom Skills, our appreciation of the craft, and our Creativity (though not all at the same time).
Tomorrow I’ll have a short video with all the details of this first Challenge, and I think you’ll really want to take part. It’s not easy, but I promise it will stretch you in a way that will be an awful lot of fun.
Plus, it has a great twist that takes it over the top. :)
For those of you that have blogs, Twitter or Facebook accounts, might you help me spread the word tomorrow to your fellow photographers? They’ll thank you on Monday (but of course, you get my thanks now).