Screw It, Just Do It!

Did You Find This Article Useful? Why Not Share It Then?Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

I know the title of this article doesn’t suit me much. But, I wanted to say it anyway. It’s inspired by Sir Richard Branson’s famous book “Screw It, Let’s Do It.” If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Here’s an acceptable version for photographers: “Stop Talking, Start Clicking.”

Photography Tips and advice by Prathap

Alright, here’s what I wanted to tell you today. Don’t just procrastinate and “amass” the camera equipment instead of getting out and shooting. Notice the word amass in quotes. Here’s why.

I was talking to a friend a while ago about videography. And he was asking a lot of questions. A whole lot of questions, indeed. And all the questions were about the camera equipment and accessories. After a while, I bluntly asked him to stop worrying too much about the camera equipment & accessories and start producing something first with whatever he had.

There’s a reason why I said that. We had a conversation well over 1-hour several times about the exact same subject. It just wasn’t moving any further.

He Was Anxious

Basically, my friend was anxious. He was venturing into video and had a lot of doubts. In fact, loads of doubts.

So, my suggestion was to just stop worrying too much and start working with whatever equipment he had. The whole point was to get the ball rolling. As the time progresses, he would know what’s working and what’s not. The experience will teach him what equipment is necessary to make it work.

Let me tell you that “it’s fair to ask a lot of questions.” But, what’s not good is to ask the same questions over and over again. You’d not only get confused but also start to procrastinate a lot more. Because the solution to all the problems is in taking action.

You might as well be in similar situation and asking a lot of questions to your friends, experienced or professional photographers.

I say “Screw It, Just Do It.”

Before you start blaming me for this, let me tell you what I mean by this.

Calming down a bit….

Relax….Relax…Relax… 🙂

Alright. I am good now. Let’s begin.

What Would You Recommend A Beginner in Photography?

If you have some experience in photography, which I assume you have, what’d you recommend to any beginner? What should he/she buy?

Would you recommend a pro-body, couple prime lenses, high-quality zoom lenses, a Gitzo tripod, Wimberley head, etc?

I am assuming you said “no.” Great. You’d rather suggest them to go with an entry-level DSLR and a kit lens which has good enough range. Right?

The reason is simple. To learn all the photography skills, all you need is a DSLR. Any DSLR with just one lens should set you on the journey. You might not be able to zoom far enough subjects, go close, get a beautiful bokeh, etc. etc. But, are they needed when you start? They are not.

Are you giving the right suggestion to the beginners?

If you don’t agree and think that “any” DSLR is not right, then you might be referring to a particular genre of photography. If so, that’s a mistake. You should avoid encouraging beginners to choose a genre from the very beginning. That’s a great disadvantage and also might frustrate the person quickly.

Diversify in the beginning

As a beginner, one should learn photography in general. All the fundamental concepts remain the same no matter what genre you choose. Basically, when you begin, you don’t know what you are really passionate about. You might be very moved by some other photographer’s work. But, it might not necessarily be what you want to choose. You’d be able to understand this as you gain more experience.

It’s simple in all other forms of learning, but somehow not true in Photography. If you want to learn anything, anything at all, you’d always learn the fundamental concepts first. Then once you master them, you’d go a bit advanced. Once you know every aspect of it, then you decide to specialize in a particular aspect.

But…not so true in photography. Why? I am figuring it out still…..:)

Pay more attention to learning the art

Instead of reading, discussing, debating, and arguing, with your friends and other photographers, it’s best to pay more attention to practice.

Here’s a something to remember:

The more you talk about photography, the better you become at arguing. Maybe you’ll be applauded by otheres. But, the only way to become a better photographer is by practicing it.

If you laughed at the above statement, I want you to give it a serious thought. Just check when you are on a photography trip with friends, when you are in a photography club, or in conversation with other photographers, you’ll invariably find people who are too good about every darn thing that happens in the photography world. They are extremely knowledgeable and beat you to death in an argument. But when you look at their work, you know what you’ll find. I am not saying that everyone is like that. There are several photographers who are both knowledgeable and have

I am not saying that everyone is like that. There are several photographers who are both knowledgeable and have a commendable portfolio. But one thing you can notice is, such photographers are humble and keep quite.

Be the Doer

Just do it. That’s it. Go out with whatever equipment you have. Use it to death. Are you frustrated that it’s not giving results? Just check if it’s the equipment or is it your mindset?

There are hundreds of examples of stunning photographs taken with inferior equipment.

I still wonder so many times when I see such photographs. But, it serves as a reminder to push myself more and understand the importance of fundamentals and photography skills.

Here are some of my photographs from my very early days of photography

These photos should serve as an inspiration to stop complaining about the inferior equipment and start clicking some photos. The more you click, the more you understand what’s working and what’s not working. The more you understand what’s working, the more you can strenghten your skills. And you can learn what’s not working from other photographers or from blogs/videos/eBooks.

The bottom line: “If I can do it, then you can do it too.”

Nature, Travel, Landscape, and Widlife Photography by Prathap

Image shot in Stockholm, Sweden. Now I don’t remember the place name. EXIF: Nikon D60, Nikon 18-55mm Kit Lens @ 18mm, f/22, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

001-Nature-Landscape-Nikon-Photography-Prathap-Photography-Sweden-Stockholm

Yes! That’s me shooting with my tiny little camera. EXIF: Nikon D60, Nikon 18-55 mm Kit Lens @ 55 mm, f/5.6, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

002-Nature-Landscape-Nikon-Photography-Prathap-Photography-Sweden-Stockholm

The breathtaking colors of Autumn…I miss it so very much. This was just after the rain, so the wet stairs and the saturated colors make it so full of color. Image was shot in Stockholm, Sweden. EXIF: Nikon D60, Nikon 18-55 mm Kit Lens @ 18 mm, f/10, 1/4 sec, ISO 100

003-Nature-Landscape-Nikon-Photography-Prathap-Photography-Sweden-Stockholm

Image shot in Stockholm, Sweden. Now I don’t remember the place name. EXIF: Nikon D60, Nikon 18-55mm Kit Lens @ 18mm, f/22, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

004-Nature-Landscape-Nikon-Photography-Prathap-Photography-Sweden-Stockholm

Okay…here’s my favorite photo of all times. This was shot with 18-55 mm kit lens. Yes, with a kit lens. So, now you can’t say you can do it only if you have so and so camera or lens etc…… EXIF: Nikon D60, Nikon 18-55mm Kit Lens @ 18mm, f/9, 1/320 sec, ISO 100

Don’t Be a Perfectionist

I think I should remember these words more than you…”Don’t be a perfectionist.” Yes, that’s the biggest mistake you can do. Forget about being perfect, taking only the best photographs, using only the best equipment, etc. etc. just follow this simple principle.

Screw It, Just Do It.

Or, simply put, “Stop Talking, Start Taking.”

I think I should stop here and let you share your thoughts and experiences.

Talk to you soon.

Prathap

P.S. Here’s the FIRST LOOK (if you missed my last mail) of my upcoming eCourse: “Waterfall Photography – A Comprehensive Field Guide.” This would be uncoventional course but the most practical course that’ll help anyone who is interested in waterfall photography.

Waterfalls Photography A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners. An eBook about how to shoot waterfalls to get silky smooth effects. Long Exposure Photography.

 

 

Did You Find This Article Useful? Why Not Share It Then?Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

8 Responses to Screw It, Just Do It!

  1. Fritz July 7, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

    Screw it…. if you have an M42…. otherwise twist it. Nice article.

    • Prathap July 7, 2017 at 7:23 pm #

      That’s a nice way of putting it 🙂 Thanks, Fritz.

  2. Judy Lundquist July 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm #

    I love that your advice is NOT technical. AND that you show the photos to make your point. I have never seen that anywhere else.

    Not having a lot of money can actually help. My practice (which pretty much happened by lucky accident) is to photograph with a particular camera or lens until I see a real need for some newer feature before I get another one. Then of course I photograph some more while I am saving up for the next one. This usually takes years.

    • Prathap July 7, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

      Thank you so much, Judy. I agree with your point. Not able to afford something makes us “earn” it, which requires determination and dedication. Yes, you got to see the real need before buying something. Your current skills and photography needs should dictate what to buy.

  3. Madhusudana July 7, 2017 at 8:42 pm #

    Hi Prathap, very encouraging article for the beginners. I have witnessed you taking the bold step of leaving a lucratively paying job and plunging into the field of photography without asking too many questions about yourself. So, I can vouch for what you have written here – just do it.

  4. Arunava Sinha July 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

    Wonderful – a write-up for encouragement of all beginners.

  5. Satish July 26, 2017 at 11:51 am #

    “Stop starting..Start clicking”..just changed my mind.
    Best way of encouraging beginners. Thank you Prathap.

  6. Evarts August 17, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    I am an amateur wildlife photographer. Bought a Canon 80D + Tamron 150-600G2 lens & for the past 6 months was taking bird & wildlife photographs but none of my images were sharp or clear and I kept blaming my camera gear all the time. After purchasing Prathap’s “Bird photography simplified” book I am learning soo much and realized all the mistakes I have been making. My biggest regret is not reading this book before starting to learn photography, but they say you learn from your mistakes and it’s never too late to learn. As an amateur, I highly recommend this book o anyone who is starting to learn professional bird photographer as it’s very insightful and it has practical advice that every amateur photographer goes through. Cheers….

Leave a Reply