I try to get out for a walk every day. It’s a general health and fitness thing where I try to do 2 to 3 miles every single day. It does depend on the weather because there are some times when it’s simply no fun at all! And recently, that’s been a far more regular occurrence than I would like. But I still do my best, and when I am able to get out it is thoroughly enjoyable, walking circuits from my home around some pretty decent scenery.
Now I’ll concede that I live in a relatively picturesque location. But that does not mean for one moment that everywhere you put your camera there is a stunning composition just waiting to find its way into your portfolio. But that doesn’t stop me carrying a camera. And with increasing frequency I have been taking out my main stills camera rather than a compact, or relying on my iPhone. Simply because I have found many interesting things to photograph and been unhappy with the iPhone quality. I don’t mean because the iPhone camera is particularly poor quality, it’s simply that it does not provide the creative flexibility that I’m used to with my stills camera.
And the point that I’m coming to, is that many of us get out and about pretty regularly walk in our local areas whether with a dog or for general fitness. And yet I hear so many photographers complaining about the lack of photo opportunities where they live. They make the point that I happen to live somewhere fabulous and so it must be easy to create great images every time. But my contention in reply is twofold: Firstly, pretty much anywhere you may live has at least something to offer to some degree to make some interesting landscape photography artwork. And secondly, whether or not you create interesting artwork there is absolutely no substitute for practice, practice, practice!
A sports-person at the top of their game, say, an Andy Murray or a Lewis Hamilton, having spent years of sacrifice and hard work to achieve the pinnacle of success in their chosen sport, don’t then stop practising because they’ve “made it”. They continue to practice with exactly the same degree of determination and dedication in order to maintain their standards of success.
In photography terms I am a million miles away from claiming to be a top-class photographer. But I recognise that to achieve any degree of success to a standard with which I am personally happy, let alone what somebody else might consider to be half-decent, there is no such thing as too much practice.
And these are a couple of practice shots. They’re not too bad, but are nowhere near portfolio standard. However, I enjoyed creating them, and as I go out on my daily walks no doubt from time to time I’ll enjoy more opportunities to practice.