Practice, practice, practice!
A Google search on the words “How to Practice” yields 188 million links. Million. I read them all. The three top groups in the results are
- 1) Musical practice methods,
- 2) Meditation techniques, and finally
- 3) the many ways one can practice evidenced-based Psychiatry.
Practice holds the promise of a better result, a and improved ability. Before I take a run at the dart board with my 16 year old son, I want a few practice throws. We are always learning, we all know that we can do better if we take time to concentrate, apply mindful attention, and…focus.
Well well well! It is interesting that musicians, yogis, and psychiatrists regularly borrow this refined concept from photography, – the magic of the lens to clarify vision. The ability to focus is an enduring metaphor for the power of the mind. But we often give the lens too much credit.
One would think practicing photography is easy. No need to drill through odd time signatures with a metronome, No need to battle against the mind’s background noise , and no need for Board Certification. We get to wake up in the morning and grab the new lens and play, hell, We even have auto focus.
But it is not that easy is it?
We still have to quiet the mind, put in the time, and certify the images we want to keep. No one can sneak away. Here are some techniques I have used in the past.
• Write down your ideas. Resolve to turn off the phone, tell the family goodbye, and get away. Same time each day, or week. If it happens once a month consider yourself lucky.
• Set the camera on P and FORGET about settings for a half hour. OK 20 minutes. Move in and out instead of zooming. Keep moving. When something captures your interest, apply the settings you know will help the shot. With a tripod if necessary.
• Keep shooting and moving. Control your breath, and keep breathing.
Later that evening…
• Back up files. Look at them in a good file browser. Rate them.