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This month’s question comes from a potential workshop student who asks:

Basically I have never taken a photographic workshop before – other than the freebie one you gave for Scenic Hudson – and I am not at all certain if I have creative potential or a photographic eye. Nonetheless, believing that one can teach old dogs new tricks – I self-consciously would love to try. At this point I have a Canon 30D, a few decent lenses – as well as an old, seldom used Minolta 201 – SLR. I’ve been interested in photography since high school – and I’m now 61, but never had the time or money to get much involved in it until recently. I enjoy landscape photography and certainly want to improve in my skills.

If you believe the course would be helpful or useful for me – great. And if you think it will be way over my head, please just say so.

Great question and one I’m sure all serious photographers including myself have struggled with at one time or another. As for creative potential, if you’ve read this blog long enough, and know me personally, you will realize this is something I work at continuously, and believe everyone has a unique vision, it’s just a matter of finding and developing it.

We all have our own personal and distinct view of the world and how it affects us visually and emotionally. The challenge is to try and express that through the language of photography. The language is what we all must continue to learn, and that only happens through practice, learning new skills, and expanding out visual vocabulary. If you have the desire and motivation, then yes there is much to learn to help you along your photographic goals in one of my workshops.

Hudson River
Hudson River

I often tell others talent is a product of dedication, perseverance, and hard work, and firmly believe this to be true. What many fail to realize is that there is a talent for dedication and hard work, and that it will accelerate you towards your photographic goals as much as your skills and equipment. Staying focused is easier said than done, and often we lose focus when results don’t meet our expectations. But this is the most critical time to remain focused, and soon mistakes become triggers to new ways of seeing, and ultimately more personal images.

A workshop is one of the best ways to remain focused and accelerate your photographic vocabulary. Thanks to everyone for their questions, and don’t forget to send yours in for next month.

Experience your work in the real world. The Printmaker Masterclass is live and growing! Learn more here.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Well said. People should remember that being good at something can be accomplished as a hobby. Being great (talented) requires dedication. There is a price to be paid if we want to be perceived as talented. Part-time effort; part-time result. Full-time effort; full-time result.

  2. Dont ever let anything stand in the way of your dreams and aspirations. I too am relatively new to photography and have decided to attend 2 of Roberts upcoming workshops because he is not only very knowledgable but also posesses the right attitude for teaching. I am also 55 years old.

  3. Thanks Tom for your kind words and encouragement. The right attitude is so very important in life, and especially in photography when there are so many variables that are out of our control. A situation is what it is, our minds and attitudes are what often label and judge before we even get a chance to see the potential.

    Yes Dana, dedication and commitment are my secrets if there are any, certainly not any techniques or camera gear.

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