The most important rule to improve your photography

Whether you’re just starting your journey or are a seasoned veteran, letting yourself down can be very difficult as an artist. However, it continues to be the absolute best way to improve your work.

Many times, we never even start something because we are so worried that we will fail. I struggle to start new hobbies because I worry about them. It makes no sense considering that everyone we seek has to start somewhere, and the only way to learn is to try. However, I still find myself resisting, simply because the bad thought of something is weighing on me.

Not wanting to fail is even worse when you are experienced and established in whatever hobby or profession you practice in. Whether your audience expects a certain level of work or you just hold yourself to a certain standard, the thought of not being good enough can be mentally dangerous. Add a constant social reminder that everyone around you succeeds and capture stunning images. Failure can feel like the worst thing you can do and fear it could take your breath away.

We must fail

What I keep reminding myself is that we must fail. Everyone does, and that’s the only way we can get better at photography or anything for that matter. I think this is a lesson that applies to all aspects of life, not just photography. No matter how often we remind ourselves, it can still be scary to get hurt and allow ourselves to be imperfect. Creating YouTube videos about photography forced me to be more vulnerable and overcome some barriers. I dig into creating weekly content that showcases both the good and bad work I create. That means if I want to try something different or get out of my comfort zone to promote inner growth, I have to basically let myself fail in front of an audience. In a recent video, I did exactly that by locking a layout, which I’m not entirely sure will work.

This is the image directly out of the camera. I wanted to try something outside my comfort zone and this layout qualifies. I could have taken a simpler shot than this one, with no foreground rock, and probably brought something decent with me given the conditions that were set for me to succeed. There’s a lot to like about this moment: the ethereal look of the clouds, the soft light in the spiers in the middle of the ground, and the texture of the landscape.

However, I still see this as a bit of a failure. My intention with those foreground rocks was to help guide the viewer’s eye to the center of the image and balance out the shape of the clouds. Sadly that’s not the outcome I ended up with, and those cliffs look more like a second thought, as if they’re blocking the view you also want to see rather than part of the scene. . Two things that could have been helpful would be if I took this shot with a higher aperture and tried to defocus the rocks. It would also help if they weren’t the brightest objects in the scene, but that’s not what I showed.

Here is the edit that I overlooked. Maybe with a little more weight I could have picked up the final image, but that’s not the lesson here. This is not about this particular image. I have the right to take pictures at any time, experience many sunrises and sunsets, and have the opportunity to try again. What I don’t do often enough is try something new, get out of my routine and my comfort zone to allow myself to fail. This time it was different: I let myself discover and accept the vulnerability of having to share my failures with an audience.

I advise people to let themselves fail more often and not be afraid to talk about it. We can all use a little more vulnerability in our lives. None of us are perfect, and the best way to learn is to try something new without worrying about the results. In the end, I may have stumbled upon a successful failure. So is it a failure at all?

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