Things worth learning: photography


“Photography is the art, application, and practice of creating durable images by recording light.” (Wikipedia)


I learned about cameras and photography so that I could take better photographs of my family, but I found that I also enjoyed photography for its own sake. It encourages you to visually examine things that normally escape our attention and look at the world in different ways.


My father-in-law Gale Farley is a photographer. He gave me a starter camera kit six or seven years ago. I went to beginner and intermediate classes at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa. After a short lecture we would venture into the gardens and practice, with the teacher critiquing our work. I love botanical gardens.

I’ve found a few books that are worth learning from, as well, like The Practice of Contemplative Photography and Ansel Adams’s guide. I’ve also learned by studying photographers whose work I enjoy, like Aaron Siskind and Minor White.

Beyond that it’s a matter of intentional practice: composing a shot, thinking about the lighting, etc. rather than simply taking snapshots.