VOLUME, VOLUME,VOLUME: 10,000 HOURS: PRACTICE & PERSISTENCE

It wasn’t just the media; it seemed everyone at The Republican Convention in New York City, 2004, was taking pictures. This is one of 1728 images I took that day.

It’s not a great mystery: perhaps the best way to learn something is to do it. The more you shoot, the better you get, period. The more you shoot, the faster you react, the more experience will teach you what works and what doesn’t. The more you shoot, the more your eye is on the viewfinder and you find yourself in the right place at the right moment in the right light without having to consciously think about it. But to do this  properly means you have to put in the time and practice. Repetition becomes your teacher.

Experience stays with you and waits to be called upon for instant access when needed. When you reach that inevitable wall of doubt, you have faith because you’ve crossed through it before, and you will again. Confidence is accumulated. When you go through a volume of work, you get to the other side of great images.

I’ve always tended to shoot a bit much, even with film. When I was a newspaper photographer, I would often shoot more than the others on staff. To a certain extent, it might have been insecurity— not wanting to miss the moment—but mostly it was an approach that allowed me to trigger on instinct, which is important when you’re attempting to capture moments in life that cannot be predicted or repeated. More in the next post. 

Do you shoot too much or not enough? 

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky

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