Narcipost Photography

Repetition is Key

I have been taking photos for many years, since I was a child, actually, but I am not a master of the art – I need more practice.

Poisoning Him With Words
Poisoning Him With Words

The famous quote goes:1

Art is the highest task and the proper metaphysical activity of this life.

I have been taking photos for many years, since I was a child, actually, but I am not a master of the art – I need more practice.

Thomas Hawk, the stellar photographer and blogger, has proclaimed his goal as publishing a million photos in his lifetime. I’m more modest – I’ll be happy if I publish 5 photos a day for the rest of my life. Of course, both goals are built upon the idea that repetition of a process is essential to becoming more proficient at that process. In other words, the more times you do something, the better you’ll be at that task, the more you understand the limitations, the pitfalls, and you become better able to perform the task without thinking too much. Photography too.

As a thought experiment, can you remember learning to use a fork? Or a pair of chopsticks? And yet, today, you probably can make do if someone hands you a delicious meal and an eating utensil.

I took a look at my photo uploads to Flickr to use as a metric to my annual productivity. This is not a perfect statistic, as I upload some non-photographs occasionally2, and ideally shouldn’t include Hipstamatic photos in this total as I don’t process these often in Photoshop, but it does roughly show my productivity.

In 2004, my first year as a Flickr member, and the year I got my first digital SLR, I uploaded at least 113 photos3 to Flickr.

In 2005, I uploaded 530 photos

In 2006, I uploaded 697 photos

In 2007, I uploaded 1032 photos

In 2008, I uploaded 1314 photos

In 2009, I uploaded 1215 photos

In 2010, I uploaded 1415 photos

In 2011, I uploaded 1555 photos

So far in 2012, I have uploaded 1394 photos, but it is only November.4 If I stick to my 5 Photos A Day plan, I’ll upload another 230 or so, bringing this total up to 1629 photos. Volume, volume, volume! As of this morning, I have 58,862 photos in Lightroom, so there are plenty of raw materials to work with.

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche from The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music []
  2. screenshots, and so on []
  3. some were subsequently deleted, but these are what remain []
  4. Actually ended up with 1548 []

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