It amazes me that people who want to learn photography don’t maximise their learning experience. They seem to just wander along like piece of driftwood tossed on the surf of the ocean hoping to land at the destination of great image taking. Here’s how to maximise your learning experience.Many people purchase a digital camera and then hope that by some miracle of technology they will start taking wonderful photographs. Chance and serendipity do not create great images, you do. In order for you to shoot really great photos you need to give it some serious thought and make a move on your way to great photos. Here’s how to do it.1. Maximise your thought processThe greatest photographers are thinking photographers. They take time out to think about what they want to do and how they will achieve those great images. If you are not thinking as you learn then you won’t maximise opportunities that stare you in the face. A thought process must start somewhere in order to reach its climax. So, take time out to sit, think and ponder what you want out of it.2. Maximise your photographic identityFind out who you are first and what you enjoy in life. Don’t copy what others enjoy. It’s not going to last for you if you follow a dream that isn’t yours. Sit down with a pen a paper and write down what you enjoy in life, your hobbies and interests. What pushes your buttons? A shiny vintage car or an antique pen set or perhaps a yacht in full sail. Define yourself as a photographer first. If close-up photos ring your bells then write it down. If wide open landscapes excite you then write it down. By defining what you like early on you will start heading in the right direction. I realised early in my journey that close-ups were my passion. Thirty years later it is still the same.3. Maximise your goal settingOnce you know what you like then set your goals out on paper. You must right them down so that you can measure whether you are reaching them. Plan what you are going to do on your journey and what you need to learn to achieve it. This means that you can plan to do a course, buy a book, research on the internet and buy or budget for the equipment necessary to achieve your goals. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Knowledge is power over yourself and your dreams.4. Maximise your practiseSimilar to goal setting is taking the time to practise your art or hobby. Allocate the time in your schedule no mater how busy you might be. Regular and focused practise will go a long way to helping you become a quality photo taker. Gary Player the famous golfer and winner of every major tournament over 5 decades says that the harder he practises the luckier he gets. You create your own luck through dedicated effort and practise.5. Maximise your review and evaluationYou cannot progress along your photographic journey unless you take the time out for review and reflection. Firstly on the quality of your images and secondly on where you are at with the goals you have set for yourself. Set specific review dates in advance of your planning then sit down and measure your self against these plans. If you aren’t aiming at the bull’s eye you may not even reach the target. Make the time to evaluate where you are at and then based on where you are, create a new set of goals for yourself.By following these steps I can guarantee that you will go a long way as you learn digital photography. The person who is focused and looks for results in their learning experience will maximise that experience. Simple steps to follow but maximum results will be achieved. Happy shooting!
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