As an advertising photographer in Los Angeles, CA plus a photography and video instructor, I find it interesting how few of the amateur image-makers I meet practice. Especially now with digital giving us instant results it is easier than ever to try out new techniques and simply learn the controls of the computer driven digital camera.
I practice all the time. Shooting is the best way to learn how to shoot better images and learn the full capabilities of your equipment. I’m not likely to try something on an assignment that I have never done before and usually many times while I “practice”. There are few things more frustrating while watching the light changing from beautiful to mundane while trying to find the right button or menu item. I shoot people for most of my assignments and want to concentrate on interacting with my subjects and not be distracted by camera functions.
Practice is also a great time to explore without pressure. What would a 180-degree pan of a cloudy sky look like and how might I use it in the future? I get to practice my panning and camera settings. Does the exposure change dramatically from sun to opposite sun as it does on a clear sky? Of course, I chose a Zeiss Distagon T* F2 28mm lens to give me the sharpest image with beautiful contrast.
This also gives me a chance to experiment with a larger variety of music from SmartSound.com using their Sonicfire software and choices from their music library. Generally, I don’t get much of a chance to use heroic music but I like it with the rather majestic clouds.
And sometimes shooting just for the beauty is enough.