Practice, Practice, Practice


© Sharon Brown Christopher

The word “practice” was a mantra in the family in which I grew up. As a student of piano for ten years and pipe organ for seven and as a member of my schools’ tennis teams for four years, I, to increase and hone my ability, had to practice.  Practice not just a little, but practice a whole lot. Practice regularly, even every day.

I have discovered that the same is true with photography. Dexterity with camera, the ability to see, and the skill of translating what I see into engaging photographic images all require  lots and lots of practice.

While it is true that every time I photograph I practice, I also go out sometimes with the sole intention of practicing. Often I give myself specific assignments and challenges.

In the field adjacent to a farmers’ market,  a great place for practice, I found this dried artichoke still attached to its vine.


© Sharon Brown Christopher

In an antique mall the folds on a woman’s red hat yielded this abstract macro


© Sharon Brown Christopher

as well as this reflection.


© Sharon Brown Christopher

The fruit of a practice trip to a used book store produced two very distinct images of books. In the second one I was practicing intentional camera movement and got what I call a “bookscape.”

130215_5728_72R_books      130311_5998_72R_800W

I created the image at the top of the page at an antique mall. I was experimenting with  both shoot-throughs as well as placing the bokeh affect in the foreground.

The invitations to practice when I was a child were not always received with appreciation. However, today I am most grateful for the discipline of practice, instilled in me while a child and  youth. It is a discipline that pushes me to move beyond mediocre and helps me journey from snapshot to fine art.

Contributed by Sharon Brown Christopher

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