Photography Classes in Tampa

Want to get your camera off of automatic? Come to digital photography classes in Tampa and learn what shutter speeds and apertures do. Photo 101, Photo 101 Boot Camp, intermediate and specialized classes are offered. You can also get private lessons with your camera or borrow a loaner! Most classes are held at central locations in Tampa. Here are 5 things to consider when selecting a photography class . Quit setting your camera on automatic! For more info see Tampa Photography Classes and Tampa Photography workshops tab at my web site. Let's get clickin'!

Also, please enjoy the information on this blog. There are tons of great tips on photography, techniques, setting you camera, and shooting different environments. Have a suggestion on a great blog you want me to write? Let me know! Please leave your feedback through comments on this blog!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stop Reading This Blog! Get Out and Shoot!

Boat Painting
I was speaking with a participant in my macro photography class this past weekend.  He is and has been passionate about photography for a long time.  He has taken several classes with me and has  accumulated a lot of equipment.  The problem is…  he rarely uses it. He "just doesn't have time".

I know several people like this.  They have subscriptions to great photography magazines.  They spend hours on the Internet looking at the latest greatest equipment, and sometimes spend thousands of dollars buying it.  They may even go out and use it a few times, but then it becomes a dust collector on their shelf while they get back on the Internet and look for more equipment. They fantasize about taking better pictures, but rarely get out and shoot.
Determination- Florida Strawberry Festival 2011

If you want to be a better photographer, if you want to be a photographer in all, you've got to get out and hit the shutter button. Dreaming about it helps because it can give you ideas But until you execute, until you make the time to get out and use your camera, you will be no better at making pictures.

Many experienced photographers are enthusiastic…  ok.... obsessive…  about photography. I know this because most days I live it.  I'm usually thinking about shooting when I go to sleep, wondering about lighting when I wake up, and spring out of bed in the morning if I'm shooting anything that day! It's been that way for years. I'm not suggesting that anyone needs to be as crazy about it as I am. I'm just saying that motivation and inspiration are the keys to getting you off your butt!

One of the things people love about the Photography 101 class is that there is a weekly assignment.  During class they take up the challenge of  going out weekly and make photographs with intent.  However, they say that after the class is over they lose their motivation.  They no longer have a reason to shoot. What has really happened is that they have lost their inspiration to consistently try to become better photographers. This isn't always true. Some people take the class to learn how to take better pictures of their kids, or trips, or flowers, etc.  They are motivated!  And, they become better photographers shooting what they love. Some people dream, and some people do.

If I can think of an inspirational analogy it would be the movie The Legend Of Bagger Vance. I love Will Smith's character's conclusion that golf is not a game that can be won, just played.  But you've got to let your authentic self out.   It may sound like psychobabble, but there's a photographer inside of you and you can let him or her speak.  You can work on finding that photographic voice. The cool part is you're never really finished. Your voice today will mature and become deeper and broader! (Puberty for photographers..whooda thunk?) What do you need to say with your images? Get out and shoot. Then do it again. Not for the prize winning photo, not for something to hang on your wall, not even just to take pictures. Do it with intent to find your photographic creative self. No one else needs to understand or like it. Gifted photographers find and express themselves in their photography. They make tons of mistakes and learn. They create. It's like any other art form. Painters paint, singers sing, poets write, and photographers make pictures.

Stop collecting information, reading blogs, and ordering equipment for a while. Go out and shoot. Take out your calendar, mark off 2 hours every week for the next month and shoot. No excuses.  Find some inspiration in those magazines you read or online galleries you view, and go out and get some click time.  The main reason people give for not getting better is they don't have time.  I get that!  But the real reason is they are not motivated or inspired.  It's the same reason people don't get more exercise or lose weight. It's those wudda, cudda, shuddas ideas.  There are only 24 hours in a day... no changing that.  If you want to become a better photographer, you will find the time. ( If I told you I would give you $5000 to get out and shoot four times in the next month would you do it? See…  motivation and inspiration!) If you want even more motivation, try to remember what it feels like when you get the shot. You see that fraction of a second you have captured and feel enthused.  Let that push you to go again.Or you can do a little forward thinking. Consider what  it will be like to have good images 20 years from now. Your child will be older or your grandmother passed away. Click!

Here are some other hints.
  • Don't go with someone who is impatient.  Non-photographers don't understand why it takes so long to make a picture.  If you can, find someone else who is a photographer or someone who won't push you to hurry.
  • Start a personal project.  I have several going at one time.  Personal projects are collections of photos taken around a central idea or theme. Make it about something that is meaningful for you.  You could donate your time monthly for a good cause or pick one genre of photography that really gets you going (portraits, street photography, photojournalism) and make a pact with yourself to improve.
  • Go online to one of the many sites that will give you weekly photo assignments.  Here's just one.  You can search for others easily.
  • Join a Meet-Up group or find other photographers with similar interests. Sometimes having others around with whom you can exchange ideas is helpful (and fun). For some folks, committing to meet others makes them more accountable for doing what they say they want to do.
  • Buy or borrow a new piece of equipment.  It might be a lens, a flash, or even a different camera.  Recently some photographic  friends of mine and I got some disposable cameras and went out trying to shoot with them at night.  It was difficult, but it was a lot of fun!!
  • If you are trying too hard,  put the camera down for a month. Step away from the lens and find something else to do.  When you come back you may be refreshed with a new vision.
  • Become a member of an organization like the Florida Museum Of Photographic Arts or the Tampa Museum Of Art. Get on the newsletter list or become a Facebook friend of places like the Centre Gallery at USF. You will be informed of new exhibits and other cool photographic events. If you are not in the Tampa area, find a museum or a gallery close to you.  Go and see what other artists do. Take that inspiration and and create your own works.
Most of my blogs end with the phrase Keep Hitting That Shutter Button. It's because people who practice get better. And, people who get better are inspired to shoot more. One of my photographic heros– Henri Cartier-Bresson- said, "Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." If you want to be a better photographer, get out and shoot!

It's not about how much equipment you have or what brand you use. It's not about dreaming of doing what others have done. Thousands of good ideas never produce the first photograph. That only happens with a camera in your hands. At the end of the day did you take a picture? Are you moving towards your first 10,000 shots? BTW..your second 10,00 is next...!

Keep Hitting That Shutter Button!

For information on other Tampa photography classes, digital photography classes, and Tampa photography workshops feel free to call me or look under the Tampa Photography Classes section. I also give private individual lessons on camera operation and making better photographs and would love to work with you one on one to make you a better photographer. Photography instruction gift certificates are also available. They make great gifts for the photo enthusiast in your life. Let's talk about what you need! 813-786-7780. See you in class!

Chip Weiner is an award winning photojournalist and food photographer in Tampa. He has been a photography instructor for 10 years.

Copyright Chip Weiner Photographic Arts (2007-2015). All Rights Reserved


No comments:

Post a Comment