At the beginning of the week I was having a conversation with a friend I’ve wondered more than once. Someone with no art education just like me started a conversation about skill versus talent. It leads to the same question whether art is a skill or a talent?
As an adult, I used to use the justification that I had no art training for making more of effort and working hard when it comes to photography. Any type of art has elements of skill, just like learning to write an essay has technique, or playing football has techniques. If you never learn those basic skills and steps, then you will have limited skill. If your education incorporates those techniques and skills, you will become skillful. Shall I show you my first long exposure images? As they say, practice makes perfect.
I started photography un my late 20s. I never thought that I would be on this path. My entire life has been around academia. That’s what’s been drummed into me. However, I vividly remember Saturday morning sessions with my grandmother. Something she encouraged me to do and continue for a long time and I still regret not listening to her.
I’ve instinctively put myself in the category of working hard since I’ve had to carve out time to learn what I know. I do not believe that I am a natural. This is one of the reasons why I am keen on looking at past image to see my progress. While not exactly easy, I do genuinely feel that photography has always been in me.
No matter the amount of talent, it’s learning that practicing will hone talent and skills. Skills does not come naturally. Maybe a bit at first, but skill comes from a lot of practice. Years of practice and the learning never ends.
What helped me get this far is passion and desire. The desire to learn and practise. Things that I still do regularly.