Blog #75 Greatness vs. Talent

September 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Blog #75 Greatness vs. Talent

In the last blog I typed about education in photography for the purpose of improvement.  This has been a reoccurring theme in my blog that you might have noticed.  I make an effort, on a regular basis, to learn something new about photography and I share that process in the hope that it might inspire someone else to pick up a book, take an online course, or otherwise push themselves to fill their head with additional pearls of wisdom.  Growth is the point as far as photography is concerned.  We need to equip and inform ourselves so that we may become better at image making.  When the gap between our vision and our images becomes closer, we grow. 

Way back in May of this year there was a very well written piece titled “Great photographers need determination not talent” by Chris Killip from Huck Magazine.  In this well-written piece it describes a seven year journey made by a photographer that resulted in determination, resilience, and good old-fashioned grit to finally get the shots that he was looking for.  All this was after he picked up a camera and simply got to work with little to no formal instruction in the medium. 

True genius is very rare.

I’m reminded of the old adage “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” 

“Practice, practice, practice!” 

They say that true mastery of some skill requires around 10,000 hours of work.  Those do not come easy, and photography is like anything else in that you get out of it what you put in.  There are many roads to success and there is no formula since we are all different. However, practicing skills on a regular basis will likely create the conditions for improvement and personal growth. 

Here are a few tips that might work for you: 


  1. Work on Projects on a regular basis to completion. 
  2. Work on Series on a regular basis to completion. 
  3. Edit and Sharing you work. 
  4. Learn how to give and receive critique. 
  5. Surround yourself with classic and modern resources in photography.

As cliché as it might sound, Greatness or perfection is a journey not a destination.

Try not to be perfect, just try to be better.  This we all can achieve. 

Remember, the light is always right.



P.S. The images in this blog post were made with a new brand of 35mm black and white 100 ISO film named Lucky (Made in China) given to me from a friend at CameraFilmPhoto. Check them out for outstanding film, products, and service.


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