Monday, April 20, 2015

Photograph Every Day

Rock Behind Ice Plant - Morro Bay, California
This last weekend I watched a documentary called Monk With A Camera. It's about Nicholas Vreeland, who had it all and gave it away to become a Buddhist monk in Tibet. He also gave up a promising photography career, but continued to photograph non-professionally even as a monk.

The documentary was alright. Not the best or worst film I've seen. However, something in it stood out, and I thought it was a good takeaway: you should photograph every day.

I wish I had written down the exact quote (so forgive me for paraphrasing), but Nicholas Vreeland said something to the effect of, "Photography is like playing piano--you have to practice your scales every day."

Each day you need to get out with your camera if you want to improve your skills. You have to practice your metaphoric scales. You must use your gear constantly. You've got to practice, practice, practice!

If you are not improving you are regressing. If you are not regularly actively using your gear then your photography skills are receding. You are either moving forwards or backwards.

It's easy to make excuses. It's easy to let life get in the way. But you can't let obstacles get in your way. Vreeland didn't let them get in his way. You've got to move past the obstacles. You've got to set aside time every day to photograph.

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