Photo learning

Four Levels of Learning


Recently, I read something on the Web that caught my eye. The person was criticizing the work of novice photographers. Well, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, for sure. What's more, what makes a good picture, or any piece of art, is subjective.

Also, when I hear someone needlessly criticizing the work of others, I think about what my mother used to tell me: If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything. (Want a good laugh? Click here to listen to my friend's Trey Ratcliff's dramatic readings of his negative book reviews.)

So, the negative comment got me thinking. Hey! We all had to start somewhere. Right?

When I think about starting out in photography (or any creative effort), I think about the Four Levels of Learning:
   
1.  Unconscious Incompetence.
We don’t know we are not good.

2.  Conscious Incompetence.
We know we need help.

3.  Conscious Competence.
We know we are good.

4.  Unconscious Competence   
The level we all want to reach in the things we care passionately about. We don’t really have to think too much about what we are doing . . . we just do it!

On my workshops, in addition to thinking about a photographer's learning level, I think about something else: the person's feelings . . . and what their photography means to them, that is, how very important photography is in their life.

So here is my question to you: At what level are you at in the learning process? Post your comment here, rather than on twitter and facebook so others can see a a whole.

Talk about what your photography means to you. Share your goals. Talk about your frustrations. Go for it.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. If you need some photo inspiration, check out my friend Dr. Richard Zakia's book:

The Four Levels of Learning

Photograph © Rick Sammon. All rights reserved.

Here is something to think about in your quest for becoming a good photographer - The four levels of learning.

1 Unconscious Incompetence - We think we are kinda good.

2 Conscious Incompetence - We know we need help.

3 Conscious Competence - We know we are good.

4 Unconscious Competence - The level we all want to reach in the things we care passionately about. We don’t really have to think too much about what we are doing . . . we just do it!

Post a comment here as to your level. I'd love to hear from you.

Explore the light,
Rick

Reaching Unconscious Competence And Important Saddle Time

After returning from my most recent seminar (Image Makers in Blue Springs, MO), the following email was in my in box.

I am sharing excerpts here, with the permission of the writer. It has a good few messages – especially about learning to become a good photographer and the different levels of learning.

Good thing I showed one of my favorite horseback riding pictures during the seminar :-)

Rick
P.S. Hey, getting email like this - and learning - is one of the reasons why I do so many seminars and workshops.
--------------------------------------------
Dear Rick:

I thoroughly enjoyed your photography seminar yesterday. I was the incessant note taker.

We spoke briefly at supper about you wanting to learn more about horses and riding. I am not certain what your schedule looks like, but I would be willing to spend some time with you so that you could move toward your dream of "riding as fast as the horse wants to run." I have done this, and I can assure you that it is thrilling.

In jumping they call it "throwing your heart over". I believe you could make some significant progress in 3-4 hours. But as in anything else worth doing, "saddle time" is crucial. Riding horses is another form of learning to dance - the better the communication, the better the dance.

You also asked about a quote used by my horsemanship mentor:

Levels of Learning

1. Unconscious Incompetence
2. Conscious Incompetence
3. Conscious Competence
4. Unconscious Competence - The level we all want to reach in the things we care passionately about.

Thank you again, and God bless you,

Stephanie Moore