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Competition can sometimes be healthy. But when you want to learn new skills it can help if you join forces with other like minded people. Photography especially lends itself to this. Don’t let your competitive juices ruin what could be a valuable relationship. Even just two people going out together can be a learning experience. We can watch how each of us sets up a photo. You know that everyone sees scenery differently and each of us will shoot the same thing but the final image may look completely different.
For someone just starting out in the photography field, it can be extremely useful to find someone who has been shooting for a number of years. Tag along with them and watch how they set up to shoot.
Do they have multiple lenses for their camera?
Do they have a tripod?
Do they walk around and put the camera up to their eye, scouting out the best scene?
Multiple lenses can help you if you want to get up close or go wide. That’s why (I believe) it is important to have at LEAST two lenses, a wide angle and a telephoto. That way you cover your bases. However, with a telephoto lens comes more challenges. Which is why I also recommend having a tripod when going out. See? Photography can quickly eat up much of your expenses. There’s always something else to acquire.
Anyway, back on topic:
Shooting together can foster friendship and it can also help each other improve their work. I think landscape photographers would benefit the greatest from teaming up.
When do they shoot?
What lens are they using?
Do they have a lens hood?
In general, photographers do their best to avoid shooting at the height of day. An hour before sunset, the golden hour or the magic hour is usually thought of as the best time to be out with your camera. If you are out at an earlier time, a lens hood is a useful tool to have as it will prevent lens flare.
The above two things, I learned from shooting with other photographers. Typically, people learn best by exposure. Watching others work, then asking questions. If you don’t work with others, you won’t get see how they set up and what they do when photographing. You won’t get to ask questions and grow as an artist.
Don’t let competition keep you from seeking out other photographers. They may feel just as intimidated, just as fearful as you. Reach out first. Take the first step.
You may just be surprised.
You may just find a new friend.
You may just learn something new.
But you won’t do any of these if you don’t make the first move.
In the meantime:
Focus on what's ahead of you.
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