Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Understanding doubt

I'm going to expand on a point I made in a comment on Gordon McGregor's blog regarding improvement.

We all go through periods of self-doubt, it's part of the learning process for me. The important thing is not to get stuck in those thoughts. In any endeavour, improvement is made by assessing the weaknesses and working on the strengths.

I'm reminded of a guy I met a few years ago on a cycling holiday. It was his first time in the big mountains and he was struggling a bit - we all do. (If you've ever watched the top cyclists speeding up the mountains apparently effortlessly, believe me when I say that comes from years of hard work.) However, the experience had completely demoralised my acquaintance to the point he was intending selling the bike and packing it in.

Photography, like life, can be like that. We hit bad patches and wonder why we bother, the key is to keep going. I work on understanding myself and the things that make the good days and acknowledging what is missing on the bad days. Sometimes it is just lack of practice (when I get back on the bike after a while away, I always struggle). For a photographer, it doesn't have to be just technical aspects: it can be location, weather, personal feeling - there are many things that go into making a good day, and therefore many omissions that can create a bad one, especially if one requires a specific combination of factors to make the good days.

For me personally, it is the really bad days that define the good ones. Without knowing the struggle I cannot properly experience the joy.

1 comment:

  1. In my cycling I train my weaknesses and race to my strengths, but I take your point.


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