The theme behind this post is practice. Why? Because I am starting this blog without any photography experience except taking holiday pictures on my iPhone.
They say that in order to master something, you must devote 10,000 hours of practice to it. I’m going to throw a random number out there and say 10,000 hours equates to 60,000 practice photographs (probably more). That’s a massive commitment to start off with, and (although I admire anyone who is able to put their whole being into learning their craft) it doesn’t mean much in a practical, day to day sense. Instead, I am going to tackle this project in a goal orientated way, based around a day by day cycle.
When I was young I played Trombone in the school band. I never practised and my teacher could see that I was discouraged, merely because I didn’t think I had a talent for it. He asked me to commit to playing for just 5 minutes each day. I agreed and overtime formed a habit of it. I was improving, but not fast enough. The small improvements weren’t enough because I had impractical expectations, that in hind-sight would probably have taken months or years of training to fulfil; not the 7 days I had in-between my music lessons.
My teacher saw that I continued to lack enthusiasm over the next couple of weeks, so he asked me to focus my efforts on just 5 bars of music each week. I came into my lesson the next week and he asked me to play the 5 bars for him. Once I finished performing the 10-15 seconds of music, he applauded me and said that that was by far the best he had ever heard me play. My enthusiasm for music grew from there as we continued to focus and perfect just 5 bars of music a week.
Now as an adult I occasionally think of this story and adopt it’s principles when faced with an overwhelming task. It makes it easier. It helps me focus on small goals, building the house brick by brick.