My perspective on learning, practice and education….it’s never done. No matter how good or experienced we think we are, there is always room to learn more, improve, take your chosen endeavor to the next level.
For those of us that are actively learning, what usually happens is that we find an “avenue of information” that we latch on to….whether it’s a magazine, a blog, a particular photographer, etc. We pursue that avenue for a time, learning all that we can from it. Then at some point if we’ve been practicing our learnings, we grow and develop and the information provided by those sources are not teaching us as much as they used to.
For example, a magazine targeted at beginning photographers has more information than you can handle when you first started out, but now after you’ve learned your cameras controls and understand basic concepts of light and composition, you don’t enjoy the magazine as much as you used to, you don’t get as much value from the magazine as you used to. It’s not necessarily that the magazine has changed (though it may have), more likely you’ve changed! You’ve grown and developed to the point where you’re no longer a “beginner” and the information being conveyed in that avenue doesn’t apply to you as much as it used to.
If you want to keep growing and learning, then you need to find a new avenue of insights. Find new people to learn from, find new materials to read, try a new style of photography and learn about that. It takes a realization that the existing avenues are not as fruitful as they once were and a fortitude to strike out into new lands in search of knowledge.
Don’t get stuck in a rut. If you want to develop and grow your photography, grow and develop your knowledge about photography and then practice what you’ve learned. Walk with confidence down your current avenues of insights, but don’t be afraid to strike out onto new streets and don’t be overconfident in comfortable surroundings. Grow your mind and you will grow your photography.
(originally posted 8/19/13)