I get routinely asked by people to teach them photography and even though I usually used to decline politely, it seems I will likely start conducting photography workshops in the near future. And before I start doing that, I wanted to explain to my future students that while I can never actually teach them technical aspects of photography, I hope to introduce them to the philosophy of photography. Because I am not a technical guy, I am a hopeless romantic and a philosopher, who would rather wonder at nature’s miracle unfolding before his eyes than worry about the aperture or shutter speed!
Fact also is I do not bore myself with technicalities of photography, since as long as you get the philosophy and romance right, everything just falls into place and you get what you’re looking for.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t learn technical aspects, for those are important as well and can be easily be learnt from YouTube and technical manuals on the web and in printed form. However being a technically proficient photographer just means you will be able to get the correct exposure and the correct effect for the scene, but not the image which can stand apart from millions of others on the web. If that is what you’re trying to achieve, then I believe you will be better served by browsing technical videos on YouTube than attending photography workshops.
Because at least in my view, real benefit of attending a photography workshop of a photographer you look up to is to be able to understand their philosophy, story and emotion behind the image you loved, rather than just to learn the technical details present in EXIF.
Because imagining an image in your head is far more important than monkeying around with settings for the supposed perfect exposure, because perfection is neither attractive nor romantic, so avoid it like the plague it is and focus on the drama and the emotions instead.
In fact I would go to the extent of saying that photography is a lot like falling in love, because when you fall in love, you do not see or rather choose to completely disregard other person’s imperfections, faults and other worldly things and you concentrate on the aspect that is most important, love. Because love is what creates poetry, love is what inspires people to write epics and love is what inspires artists to create art that has no parallel in the world. Because love cannot be defined or measured, it is an unrelenting, unbridled and unequivocal form of human emotion and that is what photography should be.
Those who understand what I mean, please join in when I start my photography workshops.