© Brad Mangas

One thing I can say about the daily pic, it keeps photography fresh in my mind everyday. Many things are written about improving ones craft, mostly on the technical side when it comes to photography. Books, magazines, blogs, workshops and just plain old advice from friends. How do you take a good picture? What do I need to know to get a good picture? What are all these settings on my camera for?  How do I get my pictures to look like that?

Well, some technical smarts are necessary (I guess). But with today’s digital cameras it’s not very hard to literally point & shoot. The brain in the camera takes care of most functions for you. Of course people want more control and I believe it’s the feeling of empowerment when we can set all the dials and functions ourselves. More control equals better pictures, right? If that were the case every serious person who loves taking pictures would have thousands of stunning photos in their archives. But we know that’s just isn’t the case. Why is it then when we master our equipment we still get boring pictures. They may be composed great, have the advantage of wonderful lighting and be tack sharp. Is that all it takes to make a great photo?

Lost in the lands of technicalities provided by the books, magazines, online forums, workshops and advice is the key to great photography. The heart and soul of what makes a picture great. Passion, vision, the not wanting to be just like the other guy. Creativity and the love of doing it because you just love it. The most important elements can not be taught. They may be learned, but not by reading about it or someone telling you about it. Experience, trial and error. The making of 1000 mistakes for the success of one shot.

What does this have to do with today’s daily pic you ask? Well, I just explained it. Experience, trial and error. The love of the craft. The waking up in the morning and in my case pouring a cup of coffee while the whole time thinking about photography. The looking at something as simple as the start of your day and wondering, hmm could I take a picture of this? And if so, why? The passion to learn is a wonderful thing for young and old. It’s what gives the young drive to be successful and it’s what keeps the aging from being old.

If you love photography then by all means go buy the books, read the articles go to the workshops and ask questions. But don’t be disappointed when after you master your equipment you still have crappy pictures. Take the next step. Wake up in the morning and think about your photography. Go to bed at night thinking about your photography. Be passionate about what you do and why you do it. Don’t settle for what the books tell you. Go make your own images for the reason “you” want to make them, and the “way” you want to make them. Not the way you were told to.

Last October when I came up with this idea and desire to do a daily pic on this blog I never really thought it would lead to some of the post’s having thoughts that could be considered artistic development. But now, on a somewhat regular basis some of these daily pic posts I’m happy can be put in that category. Trial and error, doing things your own way.

1000 failures for one success, is it worth it to you?