The Craft of Photography, Number 3

I’m not facetious: buy a film camera (lots of used ones around for cheap). If you must, get a super cheap disposable. Use it for a full week without ever touching digital. You’ll force yourself to consider composition in much more depth when you’re not shooting away with hundreds of clicks on your digital, hoping you’ll have some kind of good shot in there. You’ve got 12, 21, 24, 36 (whatever) number of exposures. Don’t waste them. Treasure each composition.

And, needless to say, if you can use manual, you’ll force yourself to actually consider f-stop, film speed, shutter speed. In fact, you’ll have to learn what they mean.

Read Patti Smith’s “Just Kids” and really understand what she talks about in there with Robert Mapplethorpe learning his craft. Polaroid. You’ve got one shot, you’re broke. Don’t waste it. For that matter, same goes for her talking about her Hermes typewriter and writing skills.

Devolve for a while to master your craft at the basic and essential level. You’re crafting and writing with light. Learn it at the level of understanding. It’s more zen-like when you’re not rushing through hundreds of wasted shots.

About Mark Aidan Bergin

Writer, editor, photographic artist specializing in dance, theater, concert, fashion and street photography....sometimes musician. Explorer of arts, culture and world, and all things Celtic and Gotham. On a good day, or perhaps a bad day, simply a mad (FOOBAR, not angry) scientist.
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