Learner Permit

I’ve never taken a photography class. The only art class I had in college was an Art History class at Coastal. My photography is self-taught, supplemented by You-Tube videos, occasional pointers from established photographers, reading articles online, Wikipedia, and a metric ton of trial and error. I shot over 100k frames that first year I owned a camera.

I’d have loved to have taken real classes. They just never fit into my schedule at college or university. Part of that was there were prerequisite classes and getting them in while getting my core classes done just wasn’t an option. I may go back sometime and take them as continuing ed or something. I’m sure there are things I could still learn from basic classes, things I’m doing the hard way that have much simpler solutions, workflow, the “why” of some stuff, that sort of thing, especially.

But I’ve come a long way from that first blurry photo of a bird I took in 2009 (to identify later), those first sport shots of my son pole-vaulting (practicing for shooting my daughter’s high school graduation, which was the point of picking up a camera in the first place), that first nude shoot I did later that year (for a required artistic project for a Literature class). Thinking about what I shoot now, it seems that first year was quite formative, genre-wise! The vast majority of what I shoot now is birds, bicycles, and half-naked people. Hmmm, I’d never thought about that until just now. (Forgive the digression.)

But every now and again some beginner comes to me and asks for pointers. I’m usually happy to help them out, if I can. But photography, good photography, isn’t a five-minute set of tips. You can’t get distill years of practice and experience and “oh shit” into five minutes. You have to be willing to put in the time, if you’re serious about it. “How do I set my camera to take xyz kind of picture?” is not even an answerable question, though it gets asked a lot. These days, I just say “Put it on automatic”.

But this weekend I might be helping a n00b in a more reasonable, and more helpful way. I’ve done this before, and it worked out pretty well, I think. I’d probably do it again for just about any of my friends who were serious about learning. If you fit that description, grab a naked person and give me a shout. (Yes, they have to get naked. Remember, I’m not a fashion photographer.)



To repeat the disclaimer, this is a project about re-discovery. It’s about remembering who I am, what I’m about, what I love and what I do not. Fair warning, this project will be posted here rather than at my SFW site because there will be nudity from time to time. Some of it will be of me, some not, some artistic and pretty to look at, some just raw.

I don’t intend to think of something every day and then shoot it, though I may do that sometimes, too. But sometimes I will just shoot, and then find something about myself in the frames and post about that thing, whatever it is.

All my #365SelfDiscovery posts will be filed here.