Friday, April 10, 2009

Sharpen your saw!

This image was taken with the D200 - 50 mm lens @ f/2.2 ISO 800 1/45 second.

This type of shot is always one of my favorites.  I focus on the baby's closest eye and will open up as much as possible.  Once it is in Lightroom, I 'play' with the highlights to lighten the image more.

Sharpen your saw!

I heard this phrase many years ago at a Steven Covey seminar. It means to take time to rest and study. I have been a fan of study for as far back as I can remember. The study I mean is the type to learn more about your craft or to build a skill set that you want but do not posses today. It is critical to study and ‘do’ until the new skill becomes second nature. For those that know me, know that I am always attending workshops, formal classes, watching training videos, and reading books. I listen to many books and Podcasts on my iPod too.

I highly recommend to everyone to continue studying long after high school graduation. There are times when I hear “I cannot afford to buy books and training videos.” The library has an amazing collection of books and training videos.

What I do is buy and sell books and training videos [DVDs] on Amazon and eBay. If you buy them used and sell them, then the cost out of pocket is minimal. I just attended the David Ziser “Digital WakeUp Call” in both Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Why did I take it in two cities? Because I knew, there would be items I missed in day one. It is not that I am slow but it is because I know that the more times I hear something the more I learn and can apply the skills to my life. It also provided me the opportunity to talk to David and LaDawn [his wife] and ask questions surrounding the art and business side of photography. They both took the time to chat with me and answer my questions. They are great folks and are very willing to share their many years of knowledge. I highly recommend their workshop.

A few years ago, I took on a new project and it required me learning VBA for Excel. I bought and read more books than I can remember [and sold many of them on Amazon when I was finished] plus I took all day workshops from one of the industry’s top VBA programmers. What did this do for my skill set? It catapulted me to the next level securing future earnings. As the saying goes, “you can charge more for your differences but not for the similarities”.

I do not say any of this to brag but to encourage you to study and learn the skills you need to go to the next level in whatever you are attempting to do. If you want to learn more about photography, then buy books, read blogs, go to workshops. If you want to learn more about anything in life then learn and study. Do whatever it will take to get you to the next level.

The job market is intensely competitive. I have always believed that the individual that continues to ‘sharpen their saw’ and learn new skills and techniques will always fare better than the individual that sits back and relies on the skills they learned many years ago.

Get out and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation!

1 comment:

Ginnie Geater said...

Great posting Frank!! It is a perfect reflection of the man I know!! You are such an inspiration!

I'd love to read more about how to photograph infants! In your spare time, of course, when you aren't learning how to build a rocket or some great new talent you are working on!!! :)