Friday, December 11, 2009

Extensions of you...


Ideally one wants to become comfortable enough with a tool that it becomes an extension of oneself… at this point the mind logically binds that tool to it's sense of self. The physical characteristics become part of perceived space and all the magic spatial things the brain does to stop us from bumping into things apply…

No longer do we have to prethink about how to hold a pencil or swing a bat - it just happens. Photography starts out worrying about all the technical details and statistics and prescribed advice on the right way to do things… that's a good thing. It helps us learn how to use the tools and understand principles.

The problem is that it doesn't lead to the camera becoming an extension of ourselves (and this is when photography becomes really fun). When you learned to write with a pencil, you probably spent countless hours thinking about forming every letter, every word, every paragraph and so on… you likely weren't focused on the content of what you wrote but only the details of writing - these are two totally separate things. In order to write well that pencil has to become an extension of yourself first.

Photography is similar, but we generally approach it at a later point in our lives. It's easier to build upon the skills we already have, it's easier to find advice, it's easier to see results… The problem is that it's also easier to find excuses and reasons not to practice, not to improve and to settle for "good enough". Unless you physically get out and practice and work hard to improve no tool will ever become an extension of you and like writing it will be hard to express yourself until it does… (bigger versions)