Writing at Machu Picchu.
I could add another point I forgot about. Learn an instrument. Anything. Kazoo. Guitar. Drums. Whatever. Music is another language and opens doors in life. S^%$, I forgot something else. Point number seven. Exercise. Might sound trivial, especially if you are one of those who thinks that drinking and smoking are prerequisites for being a “serious” photographer. Little secret…they aren’t. Stay in shape, or get in shape. Your clients will appreciate it. Okay, yet another indirect photography advice post. Want to talk new lenses? Nah. Not me. Let’s do about being more. Listen and hear the first five points.
More chuckles. Everything you said rings true, I am just amazed that it needs to be said. For me, all of it feels like common sense.
The reading thing is huge though. I have stacks of books everywhere. Usually reading 3 or 4 at the same time. Bec thinks I’m a nut case. Whenever I walk into someone’s home, the bookcases are the first thing I look for. There’s so much valuable information to be gleaned about someone, their life and their personality by what is on, or not on, their shelves.
This probably ties into one of the points you made but, I call it distributing your knowledge. The more well read you are, the more conversations you can have. The physical act of photographing is such a small part. You need to be able to relate to someone. Carry on a conversation. Be human. Knowing enough to be dangerous about as many subjects as possible goes a long way. I’ve met some amazing people and heard more amazing stories over the years. Small snippets of lives lived.
Wandering art museums/galleries is awesome. I just wrote about that the other day actually. We try to take the girls as often as we can. Kids are free at the Denver Art Museum, which is super rad, and the exhibits always worthwhile.
Working on the writing aspect. I try to get 500 words a few times a week. I’d like it to be a daily thing. We’ll see if I can get there.
The photo vest comment made me choke on my post ride protein bar. I immediately had a vision of you as Nick Nolte in Under Fire crossed up with the “landscape photographers” I saw at the Telluride Photo Fest last year…
I’m sitting in San Fran looking at an email from the library about books I have on hold. The reading well has no bottom. And you are right on about what this reading allows one to do, or see, or hear about or explain. Knowledge. Continuing to learn as we get older. I LOVE UNDER FIRE. BEST MOVIE EVER. “I don’t take sides. I take pictures.”
A bulging photo vest with parachute pants and high tops; my mental picture of a late-80s you is getting more rock n roll all the time!
As I’m still clawing my way back from the headf*ck of a certain trade fair, this particular episode of your photography podcast was a lifeline back to the breadth of every day. Thank you!
Did I mention all the tape I would put on my cameras? Red for color film. Yellow for black and white. Oh ya. It was bad.
Two weeks of silent, meditation retreat MIGHT get you balanced out from the trade show world.
Danno, excellent post! And maybe it should already be obvious, but I appreciate being reminded.
Thanks again, coach!
Thanks for the note. It should be obvious, but then I read stories about tech executives saying that clearly illustrate a lack of humanity and realize I can’t take anything for granted any longer. Be more.
After nearly a couple of years of visiting countless photography website and watching innumerable videos about gear, after reading all those stupid decalogues to be a “successful photographer”, your blog, together with a small bunch of others, is like detox.
You are one of those rare breed that talk about photography (among other things of course) AND can do proper, amazing photography.
I can’t stand no more “this is the best camera of the year” or “the battle of the 70-200”, “which is the sharpest?”.
In other words, thanks
First off, thank you. Glad you are finding something of substance. Second, I’m with you. I can’t stand the bulk of what comes out of the photography world. My advice, go on an industry “diet” if you will. Just ignore it. Go shoot, make prints and then sit with someone you respect and get their opinion. This is how you get good at photography. And, have fun. Thanks for reading.