Use these 5 tips from Yoda to improve your photography

Nov 24, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Use these 5 tips from Yoda to improve your photography

Nov 24, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Master Yoda said some very wise words before he passed on to join Obi-Wan. I bet you didn’t think he was talking about photography, though, did you?

Ok, so he might not have been guiding Luke in the ways of photography during his time on Dagobah, but his lessons are applicable. In this video, Marc Silber from Advancing Your Photography gives us his interpretation of Yoda’s wisdom, and how it relates to photography.

YouTube video

“Do, or do not. There is no try”

Don’t try to be a photographer. Decide you are a photographer, and go do it. Or don’t. But, stop with the trying, there is no try.

“You fail because you don’t believe”

This is so true. Every day I hear of people failing at photography or their photography business because they don’t believe. Either they don’t believe in themselves, or that the techniques suggested to them actually work. Even though those techniques work for thousands of others.

Believe in yourself, and you’ll go a lot further than if you don’t.

“You will find only what you bring in”

As Marc says, photography is not a spectator sport. You can’t just bring up your camera and hope that you’ll capture the perfect photograph. You have to put in the effort. Go find the shot, learn how to make it from both an aesthetic and technical standpoint, and then you’ll get it.

Every day we hear about the “entitled” generation who expect things handed to them on a silver plate. Life gives you what you put into it. Photography is exactly the same.

“Control, control, you must learn control”

And this isn’t just about learning how to shoot in manual mode, either. But it’s about knowing how to control your camera, and how your camera’s able to give you what you want. Marc suggests looking for a field guide for your camera model. These aren’t just regurgitated manuals. They’re thoughts and opinions from experts who understand the camera, know its quirks and how to get the best out of it.

But, as touched upon with a couple of the earlier quotes. You actually have to go out and do it. Experiment with it, put the effort in, or you’re not going to get the rewards you hope for.

“Always pass on what you have learned”

Marc asks that we share his video, which is what I’m doing right now.

But I think it goes further than this. Photography is often such a lonely pursuit. We get up at unreasonable hours to go get those perfect sunrise and sunsets (or sit out all night to shoot the stars). Or we travel into the middle of nowhere to find something different or rare. But we often do it on our own.

I love nothing more than sharing my photography experiences with other people. I visited Scotland in May, and every single day I was there, I was out all day with between 1-3 other photographers, and it was amazing. We all shoot in very different ways, learned a lot from each other, and had a whole heap of fun while doing it.

So, be social, engage, help others and they’ll help you, too.

What other photography lessons do you think Yoda teaches us?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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