Photographers

Appetite

Appetite

The Art of Adventure - Bruce Percy

So a few days ago I wrote about appetite.

I deliberately left it open and didn’t continue to expand on what I meant. My reasons were two:

  1. that I think if you’ve got it, you would know what I meant.

  2. and if you didn’t know what I meant, you might be prompted into thinking a bit more about it.

The web is full of self-help stuff. Most of it has a short-term feel-good factor but it’s rare that things we read stay with us the long term.

You’ve got to do the work.

Me explaining things all the time isn’t you doing the work. It’s me doing the work, and you choosing to tune in, and tune out when you feel like it ;-)

Fjallabak-(6).jpg

The thing about appetite, is that it can be whatever you feel it means to you. You might define it as ‘drive’, you may define it as ‘effort’, or ‘talent’. But I’ve known many talented people who never complete things (that’s ok - it’s no judgement - do what you want to do), but I mention this just to illustrate that having talent alone doesn’t make someone a great photographer. Neither does working hard. I’m not a big fan of the 10,000 hour view that if you put enough time into something, you’ll get better. You can spend a lot of effort running in a circle.

I think good artists are self learners. They are able to use their time to learn from themselves as they go along. I’d dare to say that most great artists didn’t get to where they are because of an art class they took. Sure, the art class will have given them skills and new ways of working, but they had to spend the time and effort joining the dots, making the connections and finding their own path. In other words, at some stage : they took hold of the responsibilities of their own development.

That’s the appetite I’m talking about.

Having the aptitude to grow is one thing, but wanting to do it badly enough is another thing entirely.

I'd like to be a better cyclist (I cycle 30 to 40 miles every couple of days when I’m at home), but I know I’ve just not really got the appetite to do it. I love cycling and enjoy it, but I just don’t want to be better at it badly enough.

Similarly, I’d like to write a book some day, but that too is more about a lack of appetite to do it than anything else.

Being a good photographer is definitely about having appetite.

I’m just think that it’s not that common.

Most of us would like to be better at what we do, but I just think we stop short of going all the way to where we’d like to be, because we don’t have the appetite for it. It’s not a criticism, it’s am observation.

If you really want to improve in your photography then there are no shortcuts. No quick fixes, no instant results. No blog entries that will do it for you.

You have to do the work.

And you have to have the appetite for it.

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