syl_arena_lidlips_51-55

This Week’s LIDLIPS

51. If your camera was a pencil or a crayon it would be easy to understand its limitations..

52. There are times when you have to hang it all out there – without any understanding of where you are headed or whether it will work..

53. Sometimes going to sleep is the most creative thing you can do.

54. If you want something way more than the person on the other side of the deal – be wary.

55. No matter how much you know, you’ll never know it all. So don’t let not knowing hold you back.

Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School 51–55

51. If your camera was a pencil or a crayon it would be easy to understand its limitations.
No one expects a pencil or a crayon or a box of watercolors to produce photo-realistic images (yet in the hands of a truly skilled artist they can). On the other hand, we often look at our photos and think “that doesn’t look like what I saw”. You have to embrace the fact that cameras, even the most modern cameras, still can only record a fraction of the colors and tonal range that we can see. Once you come to that understanding, you’ll also quickly understand why you have to learn to light – even if it’s just with a sheet of watercolor paper that you’re using as a fill card. Embrace the limitations of technology and you’ll soon find ways to fly over those boundaries.

52. There are times when you have to hang it all out there – without any understanding of where you are headed or whether it will work.
Being a creative means that you’ll often find yourself racing down paths that you’ve never ventured onto before. Without knowing why, you’ll respond to the breath of inspiration by doubling your efforts. As you race forward without any understanding of what lies ahead, a touch of panic will try to sneak in. You’ll think “where am I going”. You’ll briefly worry “what if this doesn’t work”. Push those questions aside and continue charging ahead blindly – continue charging ahead creatively. The moment you start to deal with these fears is the moment that your creativity evaporates.

53. Sometimes going to sleep is the most creative thing you can do.
On any number of occasions, I’ve reached the end of a creative session absolutely exhausted. Thinking, feeling, believing that I had nothing more to give, I figured the job complete, finished, done. Time and time again, I’ve woken up in the morning with a deep pool of energy and enough new ideas to fill a warehouse.

54. If you want something way more than the person on the other side of the deal – be wary.
I once met a fellow who I thought could make a huge difference to the arc of my career. Call him a “rainmaker” or a “center of influence” or a “master networker”. This guy had experiences and contacts that I could only dream of. Turns out that I wanted a friend with these contacts so much that I ignored the warning signs: the never-ending stream of stories, the nonstop talk about himself, the inconsistencies between the first and second time that I’d hear a story. It unraveled when I came upon someone else’s byline on a famous photo that I thought my friend had made. We had discussed his being at the event and the capture of the iconic image.  The moment I realized that he had let me believe he had made another shooter’s photo was the moment that I also realized I wanted to be his friend way more than he wanted to be mine.

55. No matter how much you know, you’ll never know it all. So don’t let not knowing hold you back.
Don’t let thoughts like “I have so much more to learn” or “I’m not ready yet” hold you back. The truth is that if you wait until  you’re ready, you’ll never start. The digital evolution in photography has been a great leveler. No one understands every detail of Photoshop – not even the guys who invented it. No one understands every control option of the latest DSLR – not even the guy who sell them. Get used to the idea that you’ll have to ask others for help. Get used to the idea that you should offer help freely. When it comes to technology, every one of us is ignorant to some degree or anothery. Accept your weaknesses and keep shooting.

Previous Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School

The entire LIDLIPS Series

 

7 Responses to Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School 51–55

  1. Tim B. says:

    Syl – #55 is so true. But thoughts like “I have so much to learn” can also be great motivators to push yourself to the next level.

  2. Mark says:

    Agreed about #55. Even before I read this post, I was going through this. Sign up for one of Joe McNally’s one-day seminars this summer, or abstain because I just ain’t there yet. But how better to get there there than to get out and hand’s on learn! Off camera lighting is a weakness for me….for now.

    Once again, great posts, Syl.

  3. LisaNewton says:

    Just as Mark and Tim B. pointed out, I’m totally into #55. I started by site only a few days after getting my camera. In fact, my first shoot is a large part of a blog post. I’ve learned a lot in the few months since then, but I always want to learn more.

    In fact, I’ll see you on the Photo Walk Tour in July, and I can hardly wait…………………:)

  4. udi says:

    #52 is a great one. I could not agree more. combined with #53 you’ve covered all ends.
    thanks.

  5. [...] to post great information on his Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School posts. He is up to 51-55 and still going strong. At number 100 I want him to post the things he DID learn in photo school, : [...]

  6. Sagar says:

    hey thanx a lot for all this LIDLIPS…..
    They are really great and helpful..

    but i didn’t get the #54 point….bit confused about it
    it will be great if you can explain it in simple words…

    anyway thanx one again :)

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