Learning What You Are Bad At

I’m told that during his career, Magic Johnson would spend the off-season practicing whatever skill had the lowest success percentage in the previous season.  For a man of Magic’s ability, that often meant practicing something at which he was successful only 98% of the time, but the point was to keep improving.

Even if I had a 98% free throw percentage, the information would be of little value to me as a photographer. My learning curve takes strange turns when, in the midst of a shoot, I’m asked to do something I don’t know how to do. A couple of weeks ago I blogged about photographing the Madrigali singers. The group shots were challenging enough, but they also asked for some close-ups of costume elements that might be iconic for their CD cover or promotional materials. Unprepared and inexperienced, I grabbed some evenly lit snapshots, as shown here. Now I know what I’ll be doing in the off-season, and next time, I will have practiced arranging and lighting such things.

Of course, after I saw the image on my computer, it occurred to me that there were a bunch of beautiful granite stairs about ten feet behind me. Or, I would have been better served with two sets of feet: a man and a woman's, suggestively entwined.

So what?

So what II. A little more dramatic lighting might have emphasized the textures and shapes I was trying to capture.

This is better by virtue of simplicity, but still fails to rise above "drunk snapshot at a renaissance faire" quality. I'm definitely looking forward to more practice in the off-season.

1 Comment

Filed under Composition, Lighting, Professional vs. Amateur

One response to “Learning What You Are Bad At

  1. myrna

    me thinks you are about to enter the world of photography for the arts … fine art photography or graphic arts … take your pick

    keep things simple i think and leave negative space for the text as on the sunset which graces the top of this page

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