Seeking the Magic Bullet
"What do I need to do to take my photography to the next level?"
"What are five things I can do right now to make great images?"
"How do I make photographs that are full of impact?"
"My photos don't live up to my expectations. What should I do?"
I hear these kinds of questions all the time from people who want instant recipes, like a delicious meal you can just pop into the microwave for 2 minutes. The web is full of these lists that pose as the solutions to your photographic challenges. There can be good ideas among them. I read some of them too. But, the truth is, there is no magic bullet that will make a startling difference in your images. There are, however, hundreds of things you can do incrementally that will add up to significant and lasting improvement. They all require that you apply yourself, suffer through mistakes, give it time, study hard and practice a lot. In other words: work! Great photos and great photographers don't just happen. They evolve. They come from years of learning new skills and then applying them. Anyone can be lucky and make the occasional great shot. But doing it consistently is a whole other thing. So don't expect a magic bullet. I think talent is greatly over-rated and work is seriously under-rated. If you admire my work I am most thankful, but bear in mind that I have been working at it seriously for over 50 years.
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