I started “serious” amateur photography 6 years ago when I bought my first DSLR camera. At that time I thought that such a camera automatically means better pictures. This is what many beginners believe as if there was some magic within the gear. Needless to say that editing was a foreign language for me so “straight-from-the-camera” JPEGs were the only possible output.
Many things have changed since then. I took lots of pictures in almost all possible scenarios: landscapes, birds, macro, events, fashion, time lapse, astrophotography and so on. I went photographing on almost all kinds of weather. I started shooting RAW and learned to edit photos when I became aware that editing IS required for getting stunning pictures. It simply makes that small difference to greatness. But the most important thing is that I became aware that improvement never stops, it is continuous and there is always room for better! The more experience I gain, the more I am aware that I need to learn and improve.
I can hear you ask: but what does photography really mean to you?
Well, first of all it’s the most relaxing hobby ever. It is one of the few things that totally helps wipe out all my worries. No matter how hard the day was at work or anywhere else, when I take my camera and go “in the field” my mind goes free of any negative thoughts and all headaches magically vanish. When taking pictures my attention is so focused on environment, details, subjects and settings that I cannot think of anything else. I get totally disconnected from the daily routine and I’m so thankful for that!
Second, photography means trying, probing, practising. These are closely related to creativity. I’m aware that I cannot (and I don’t need to) take fabulous National Geographic-like pictures all the time. I shoot whatever I want and I shoot as much as possible. I play with angles, focus, depth of field, framing, composition and so on. But at the end of the day I only select the photos that draw my attention and are worth keeping. Usually this is maximum 10 percent of all pictures. And it’s ok to be like this. Photo editing is very costly from a time point of view so IMHO one should carefully choose what to edit. Sometimes it might happen that nothing is worth editing. That’s no shame. At least I know I practiced and the gained experience increment will be helpful for the next photo session.
(to be continued)