In my free time I’ve been able to invest in new hobbies, I shared that I was going to be doing a photography class, well I LOVED it! It was only four weeks at a local photography store, but I’ve learned so much I’m now dabbling with Manual mode (with successful results) on a regular basis.
It would be easy to share about all of the technical things that I’ve learned in this class, as we studied exposure, composition,technique, and lighting.
But, the biggest take away was learning to see photography from a healthier perspective. When I first signed up for the class hubby warned me not to mention that I used GIMP or to share places that I’d like to shoot, knowing that the photography community can be quite snobby, rude, and ruthless. (He likes to try to protect is giant hearted princess from the harshness of the world ;0) ).
I was encouraged so much by the humility our teachers represented. Each week we were taught a lesson and given a homework assignment, that we’d discuss the next class. I was surprised to hear that they were more gentle on our photography attempts that most of us were. No matter the composition struggles, imperfect technique, or blurry subjects, they could always find something positive to say, and not in the fake way, but in a real way. When I’d hate my picture for not nailing it, they’d look at them and say, “this worked our pretty well!”
You could hear a lot of perfectionistic tendencies in the comments of myself and my classmates. We wanted to get “the shot” each and every time. It didn’t matter if the lighting in our environment sucked, if our camera gear and lenses weren’t up to par, we wanted to get “the shot.”
Some of us struggled to get out of Auto mode and using Manual mode more regularly. We struggled with the fear of failure. What if in trying to get ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to line up, we missed THE SHOT?
The teacher regularly encouraged us to test in Manual mode, because the shot would come again if we missed it (in most cases). At first I didn’t agree with him, in every moment I had this intense pressure to capture the child’s smile, the fun expression of my puppy, etc. I’m not questioning the value of each moment, but rather the pressure we amateur photographers place on ourselves. Especially those who are using the camera to document our daily lives and the beautiful moments with our loved ones.
We won’t always get the shot, life happens, lighting hates us, children move too fast. All we can do is experiment with our settings, “see it” and shoot. If we don’t get that one moment, its okay, there will be another moment that will be AhMahZing that we will be able to capture :0).
Doesn’t it feel better to not have so much pressure? ;0)