Monday, February 10, 2014

Why travel with other photographers and a pro?

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/9, 20 sec
You want to be a better tennis player you play with better players. If you want to grow as a photographer then surround yourself with other photographers and better photographers.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/7.1, 1/640
This past weekend I traveled around the The Big Island of Hawaii with 8 of the 16 students in the School of Photography class at Youth With A Mission. We were sight seeing together some of the sights of the Island.

The top photo is of the Volcano National Park during the evening. Here most of us were using tripods. The advantage of this was you could see each other's work and ask what they were doing. This helped people learn how to capture such a difficult situation.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/6.4, 1/500
Now when you are on these trips take the time to find those who are better than you or at least have more experience. Ask them questions and learn what you can.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/11, 1/500
Karen Walker is one of the students this week I am working with. She would find me and ask great questions. "What are you looking for here?" might be one the questions she would ask. She was just a sponge and sought me out as much as possible.

She then wanted to be sure she wasn't be annoying. I told her this is why I am here is to help teach.

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 200, ƒ/5, 1.1 sec

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/5.6, 2.3 sec

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/5.6, 5 sec
What surprised me is how many students never asked me a question about photography. Every year this happens. I come as a visiting guest speaker, but the students often will not take advantage of my presence to grab me and ask questions.

My recommendations:
  • Find a group to do some photography 
  • Find a professional to take a class with
  • Ask questions beyond the lecture time
Remember if you don't ask questions then why take a class in person, just buy a video.  Take advantage of the instructors and people around you. Ask why they are doing what they are doing. Ask how they are getting the photo. Clarify how they knew to do that. Sometimes they don't know and if was just luck.

You learn from being engaged with others.