The importance of Education


<or the search for the perfect light>

Celestial Light (or Cathedral Disco Lights) Nikon D800 -  Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 @ 24mm f/4

Celestial Light (or Cathedral Disco Lights)
Nikon D800 -  Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 @ 24mm f/4

As much as inspiration and influence, education must be considered a corner stone of photography. Even though I do agree that a lot of talent could originate from innate predisposition for art, there is always something that we can learn to improve our knowledge and capability. And that room for improvement is something that we should never overlook, as if we do so we would deny ourselves the capability of self-actualization in photography.

Light's Wrath Nikon D800 - Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 @ f/2

Light's Wrath
Nikon D800 - Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 @ f/2

The first step that we need to take is to know deep inside yourself that there is actually no limit for learning, and that you should consider yourself in the threshold of your knowledge and proficiency. Having these assumptions would enable you to achieve the following two things: a need to learn about more aspects of the art that you could have bypassed before, and you know that you always can get better an evolve in the way you photograph the world. 

A Light At The End Of The Line Nikon D800 - Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 @ 50mm 2.8

A Light At The End Of The Line
Nikon D800 - Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 @ 50mm 2.8

The second thing that we should do is to search for education: fortunately nowadays, Internet is not only a good medium to showcase your art but also to educate yourself in a very open and low-cost way, not to mention as well that you can choose your source of knowledge; there are several photographers that offer information and education from different points of view, perspectives and ways, for no price at all wether in YouTube of several blogging sites. At the same time, when looking for sources of information and mentoring you should develop a very precise BS filter: as much as rich is Internet in its amount of raw information, is a place where anybody can publish misguiding "facts" for free. It is your job and yours only to mine that "raw" source of information into something deemed useful for you to learn. You should also know as well that several photography bloggers (that are more into blogging than into photography, unfortunately) are sponsored and therefore biased by camera or camera product related brands, even when they firmly deny it, and therefore be misguiding.
 

Into The Light... Nikon D810 - 

Into The Light...
Nikon D810 - 

Last but not the least, photography is an art and as such there is no right and wrong, there is no "my way or the highway". There might be some technical aspects that the great majority of photographers and audience might have as a standard which we tend to follow, but at the same time, art is about breaking a given concept and idea, and elaborate something new, sort of the Hegel's thesis, antithesis and synthesis process. Whoever wants to "teach and preach" you that is doing a gigantic mistake: yes, your teacher/mentor will criticise your work from her/his own point of view and will be biased by his own style, but that should not stop you from experimenting; you should always be balancing what you learn and what your creativity drives you to do in order to elaborate a new perspective that could become something new and previously unseen in the arena of photography.

Masked Light Nikon D800 - Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 @ 34mm f/5.6

Masked Light
Nikon D800 - Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 @ 34mm f/5.6