Plate-spinning is a clever thing. When done well it looks easy. But it’s not just a question of calculating speed and angles, it’s the ability to focus intently on several events running simultaneously. I plate spin every day and every day there is more ceramic set in motion and consequently more potential for a major calamity.
It’s been a hugely busy period with the (almost) completion of the Caledonia book, researching and designing new photo-tours, commissioning a major web site update and coordinating the not insignificant 2020VISION project. Oh, and trying to make the most of the fantastic weather with my camera!
So what’s my point? Well the other day I was checking some of our photo-tour brochures and I came across our Career Counselling service ( I say ‘our’; it was designed and is delivered by Niall Benvie) and was wondering what sort of advice we should offer to the aspiring photographer. Well certainly dedication; without doubt resolve, and perhaps the ability to accept rejection…repeatedly. But perhaps more than anything – and this doesn’t just apply to nature photography – we need to learn to plate spin; to keep lots of different facets of our lives on the boil. You need to be good at different things – and all at the same time. I admire great plate spinners and have to admit to a bit of the green-eyed monster as I don’t do it nearly as well as many. I have long concluded however, that successful (and I’m never quite sure how that is defined) nature photography has got less and less to do with your ability behind the camera. So don’t be tempted to put all your eggs in that particular basket…or on that plate. Have to be off now – a bit of a mess to sweep up off the kitchen floor.