While listening to a podcast – The Candid Frame – I heard the host explain the need for continually taking photographs. His explanation was simple. The reason for continually taking photographs is to become an expert in your subject matter, so that you know it inside out, so you can take photographs that accurately express the concept and or emotion you wish to convey. So that is the short explanation, let me see if I can elaborate on this with an analogy.
Imagine for a moment your back in high school. You have just returned from summer vacation and your teacher asks you to do an essay about how you spent your summer vacation. Certainly your first thoughts will quickly skip to the most prominent experiences in your mind or the most memorable. So lets say you went to a concert and you got to see your favourite band play. Well, if you and any of your classmates went to the same concert then you will probably all recall the same series of events.
But, imagine then that you choose to flesh out those experiences more and explain it from your perspective. You don’t want to explain how classmate A and classmate B saw it. You want to explain what the experience meant to you; what it tasted like; what it sounded like; what it felt like before and after; what was most memorable to you. You want to be able to become an expert in communicating your thoughts and ideas so that someone else reading your essay is transported there, in your shoes and can suddenly experiences everything you experienced but through your words. That is the essence of the need for continually practicing photography.
The idea is to become proficient in the art of visual storytelling – technical as well as emotional – such that a viewer can experience what you felt, what you thought, what inspired you and captured your attention through the images you take.
In summary, the need to continually practice photography is to become proficient in using the camera and knowledgeable in the subject so that you can express your ideas more effectively.