One of my failings, if that is the way to put it, is that I take on something and start in the middle and then just go from there. Sort of like that very old ad where the guy says,
I can do that! I can do that! I can do that! How am I going to do that? ( I would have embeded the video but I couldn’t find it anywhere)
That is me. That was me when I started the whole scrap booking consultant four year crazy time. I didn’t start out scrap booking by just doing an album and buying a few things. OH NO, I had to buy the WHOLE kit and sign up to be a consultant and THEN learn how to scrap book.
Insert dope slap here.
In other words, I bite off more that I can chew and then I chew and chew and chew stubbornly, because DAMMIT! I am going to do this MY way! When in reality if I just spit the whole thing out and started again from the beginning I would be better off and less frustrated and not so overwhelmed and about to drown.
You know I was speaking metaphorically about spitting food out and then re-chewing it.
You do know that right? Because that would just be really oogy to even thing about let alone do. Sort of like a momma bird regurgitating a worm for her baby. Only grosser.
OK, moving on for I seem to have digressed wildly.
The above few paragraphs of drivel about biting off more that you can chew can be easily applied to my photography. Or at least to certain aspects of my photography.
It isn’t the ability to “see”, photographically, that is so deficient with me, that is actually where I think I excel. No, what is lacking is sometimes my basic knowledge of what to do with my camera, it’s settings and how to achieve in digital form what I see with my mind’s eye.
I am self taught.
I don’t have a degree in photography. I don’t even have a degree in any kind of art. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Blood does not scare me. Guts and gore fascinate me. I took no art classes in college. I took science classes (A LOT). I took History classes. I took Literature classes. I did not take art classes. I did not take photography classes. And I am guessing that Baylor might not even have had any more than basic photography classes when I was there.
But that is beside the point.
Part of being self-taught is that I
sometimes most of the time don’t know what the HECK I am doing in some situations. I say, “I can do that!” and then I go back and figure out how I am going to do that and then do it. Or what more often happens is that I fall on my face the first bazillion times before I get a photo that I even half way like. I delete a lot of photos.
Being self-taught means that I am “in school” all the time. Every day. I look at the work of others and ask myself if I like what they have done or if I don’t like it. How did they do that? Why did they do that? Can I do that? I read about photography every day. I take photos every day. I make tiny strides every day, I hope.
Being self-taught means that I haven’t had anyone tell me the concrete rules that CANNOT BE BROKEN. I am learning the rules but I am breaking the rules as well. What is the worst that could happen?
Being self-taught means that I have to give myself permission to sit and read about photography and technique and photographers and tech stuff. I have to throw out the notion that others have that if I am not moving and “doing” something that I must be wasting time when in reality I am studying and learning. I HAVE to study. Every day. I LOVE to study photography.
I love photography PERIOD.
Being self-taught means that sometimes I decide that I am just going to sit down at the computer and “play” for a few minutes and look up and it is 4 hours later. And the house is still not cleaned. And the weeds are still taunting me. And I don’t know what we are having for dinner. And the to do list is still not too done. But I have accomplished something that I hadn’t done before.
I feel like the Lord has led me to this so “late” in my life that I won’t have time to take it all in and take all the photos that I want and learn all that I need to learn and make good art. And occasionally earn some money.
As Neil Gaiman says, Whatever you do….Make. Good. Art.
And then there is Photoshop. Oh my stars and garters! Or in my case Photoshop Elements. Some people call that “Photoshop Lite”. Oh for the LOVE of Peter, Paul and Mary folks! PSE 11 is awesome fantastic and can do just about everything that you could possibly want so stop being a Photoshop snob!
No really, I use Photoshop Elements because I am 53 years old and I don’t have enough memory to handle anything else. I don’t have an expansion slot to upgrade my brain memory to handle all the info that I am still learning about PSE 11. There is already a boat load of useless knowledge floating around in my cranium just waiting to burst forth for Final Jeopardy! If I have to add learning Photoshop you may have to call in a HAZMAT team because my head will for sure explode.
Well, I do have an expansion slot, my mouth. But that causes me to expand in ways that have nothing to do with knowledge and everything to do with buying a bigger pair of jeans.
Believe me when I say that I am always learning new things about PSE. I have some PSE learning DVD’s that I am going through at the moment. The tendency for me would be to skip over the parts about learning the basics. I almost did that this morning. But I didn’t and I learned a bunch of things that I didn’t know.
All this rambling is actually just a reminder to myself that it is OK to sit and read and study every day. To work on photos. To try new things. That I am using my time wisely, despite what it might look like to others.
Getting off my soap box now and going to read a book by Ibarionex Perello on Natural Light photography.
Oh, and just as an aside. If I could listen to only ONE podcast on photography, it would be The Candid Frame, which happens to be Ibarionex Perello’s podcast. Awesome.