going beyond the competent.
Imagine you're the photographer in the banner image above. It's sunrise and you're perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Grand Canyon, it's a photographer's dream. When the moment arrives, wherever it may be in the world, the time you have invested in training your eyes to 'see' and understand light will determine the result. Knowing which button to press is barely the start!
The Way Forward
To really improve as a photographer a through understanding of 3 fundamental disciplines is required:-
Training Your Eyes To See
Regardless of whether you use film or digital medium to capture an image training your eyes to visualise and design a photograph is the most fundamental aspect of photography. Going beyond a descriptive record of what's in front of the lens to producing inspirational work that generates emotion requires "a photographer's eye".
Knowing The Camera
Regardless of the make or model of camera used, knowing how it operates so you, the photographer, takes total control must become second nature. Whether it's understanding the movements on a large format camera or the subtleties of auto focus settings on a modern digital camera the photographer must have complete mastery of their equipment. Many, many photographers see this as an end in itself, but technical proficiency merely lays the foundations for strong, creative images.
The Final Output
Processing digital images for final output requires an understanding of editing software, typically Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Elements, Capture One. There are many ways to become confused, frustrated and ruin a strong image. Similarly, if you use film, scanning transparencies & negatives requires absolute control over the process - which software should be used, should I dry scan or wet scan? Would drum scanning be a better option? Should I print my own images? What about a colour managed workflow so my prints turn out as I see them on my monitor. It can be a daunting prospect.
invest in some One to One Training
After 35 years of photography I'm firmly of the view that to advance requires one to one tuition. Just like a sport such as golf, the basics of photography are generic and can be taught in groups, to beginners if you like. Then, and to really improve, golfers invest in one to one lessons with a professional where their specific needs are identified and a plan developed. Photography is no different.
To that end, all of my tuition is provided on a one to one basis, occasionally two to one ( 2 close friends for example). It is also bespoke to you, the individual, in both what you want to improve and your learning style. There is no 'off the shelf course' - one will be designed around your needs. Training is typically centred around my home county of Cheshire, through to the Peak and Lake District.
I was awarded Licentiate Distinction from the Royal Photographic Society in 2004, Associateship in 2010 and became an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Lightroom in 2010.
My recent photographic successes include being a finalist in the worldwide Large Format film contest. Travel finalist in the 2016 Smithsonian photo contest (digital) and winner of 'People & Planes' in the 3rd Air & Space competition (digital).
Please let me know how I can help.