Henry Thoreau once said, “Men have become the tools of their tools.” Now, isn’t that the truth! Just think of all the “thens and nows.” It is amazing to see how much technology has really transformed process. Years ago, graphic designers most important tools were ink and illustration board. You can now read a book on a computer device. Dark rooms & film have become almost obsolete in the photography industry.
Technology has really improved industry in general, but like everything else, it can have its negative side effects as well. It really can take the creativity out of the process.
Take photography, for example. So many people have compensated their lack of professional portraiture by purchasing “a nicer camera,” but fail to understand that its not the camera that takes the picture, its the photographer that takes the picture. And, to do so, you have to at least understand how a camera works.
To be able to do so, you have to understand that a camera is a tool, not a crutch.
If you are like me, you started doing photography because you had a passion for it & you saw the importance in capturing those memories & milestones.
I quickly learned, however that their has to be a balance between creativity & knowledge. I heard over & over “you really have an eye for photography” but simply having an eye just wasn’t enough. There was one thing that quickly set me apart from the other rookies. This was my determination to not make cute pictures, but to make beautiful pictures. I set out to learn all about white balance, exposure, lighting and most importantly, I took charge of my camera instead of letting it take charge of me. I sought out to never put my camera on automatic If I could help it. I met with other photographers & mentors, online & onsite classes & I spent hours in Barnes & Noble searching for more ways to learn.
I came to the realization that photography is always changing & to really set yourself apart from others is to welcome those changes & always be inspired.
Never read just one newspaper. Read several. Note how stories change from time to time.
Read books, a lot of them. But don’t read the same types, change genres.
Go places you normally wouldn’t.
Follow photographers that have different styles and photograph different subjects.
Subscribe to professional organizations & clubs.
So my best advice? It is true that knowledge is power. The best way to become interesting is to become interested.