Advice for new photographers – SLOW DOWN

The onset of digital photography has certainly revolutionized the photography world.  It's made making images so much easier and quicker and it has leveled the playing field by putting a camera in anyone's hands.  To own a great camera in the past one would have to drop thousands of dollars but now people can get into an entry level camera and lens package for a few hundred dollars.  And, sometimes you can find great deals on high-end used cameras and lenses at a considerably lesser price.  There is no question that digital imaging has changed the game of photography. That said, I still get asked by a number of people about how to make good images.  I get asked what camera to buy, what lens to use, what settings are best and how to compose the best shot?  I will openly admit that I rarely answer these questions because photography is, inherently, an independent vocation/hobby.  I don't mean to be rude but what I may offer can and will be different from someone else may offer or advise.  Moreover, my style of shooting is and will be different from that particular person's style of shooting so my advice may never be relevant to their question(s).  Then again, it may be completely relevant but I would hope no one shoots just like me and they find their own creative voice.  I do, however, offer advice with another piece of advice I learned when I first switched to digital imaging.  That advice is this...

Slow Down! Treat your CF or SD card as if it were film

SLOW DOWN!  Even though your Compact Flash (CF) or SD cards allow you to shoot HUNDREDS OF IMAGES doesn't mean you should!  Treat your CF or SD card as if it were film, only take one with you and give yourself a certain number of exposures to get your desired image.  By giving yourself some limitations you won't have to go through hundreds of images looking for the best image.  The term used to describe the people who just shoot and hope for the best is called "Spray and Pray."  The sooner you can get away from Spraying and Praying the better you are going be with your photography and it will help you find your creative voice. Lastly, by planning to give yourself goals and limitations you cannot help but become a better photographer.  You will have less images to go through and you can try a variety of settings to see what worked best - one image at a time!  When you slow down and plan you create goals.  Goals without plans are just "wishes" and you will never grow, learn or improve if you just keep wishing to be a good photographer.  Remember, just because you CAN shoot as many images as you want with digital photography doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Just because you can shoot as many images as you want doesn't mean you should!

Until next time, SH

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