In photography, like in so many other endeavours, practice makes perfect.
Just like in, say, drumming.
Don’t worry, the owner of those drums (you know who you are, Dan) is a very talented professional drummer who in fact practices several hours every single day. Just not on those practice pads.
He practices with his drums, just as I hope you do with your camera. Whether you are a pro or a beginner, you need to practice.
As a beginner, you do this to make the theory, which you kind of understand after a good course, into something you feel. “Make it into your DNA”, we say. And we mean this – things like the aperture-shutter-ISO triangle should come to you naturally. And practice makes that happen. Shoot in manual mode all day tomorrow, then shoot in aperture mode all day the next day, and shoot in shutter priority mode the day after that. That’s how you learn. That is also why the photo walks I do are so good.
As a pro, you practice for different reasons:
- In order to remember things. After you have not done something for a while, you forget how you did it last – even as a pro.
- To keep up your muscular memory. Knowing things by feel is a valuable skill. I tend to work like that – hand me a camera and I do stuff without even thinking about how. Practice is key.
- To ensure all your gear is working properly, batteries are charged, etc.
- To see if you can do it differently; i.e. to develop new techniques and thus to stay fresh.
So whoever you are: if you have not touched your camera today, go take some pictures of your home today, or of your place of work. If you are a beginner, go take some pictures in manual mode. If you are learning flash, then go take some pictures indoors by bright windows, using a flash to fill. You will have fun, learn new techniques, and strengthen existing skills.