I am taking a photography workshop again. Each workshop is a big investment of both time and money, but they’re worth it, because I learn so much more through workshops than by reading or practising on my own.

I don’t spend all of those hours with my camera or with editing software, of course. A lot of time goes into reading and thinking about the course materials, looking at other participants’ photos and taking part in discussions.

This current workshop is very different from all the previous ones I’ve taken in that it is about the “soul” of photography, rather than technical topics such as which knobs to twiddle or how to compose a photo. “Photographing with Heart and Vision” it’s called.

My photography is important to me. That keeps surprising me, because it came out of nowhere and I am still not quite sure how it happened. For years I just took occasional snapshots and it didn’t mean anything special to me. And then somehow, as I started learning more about it, it also became more and more important to me.

Perhaps it’s a temporary obsession. It wouldn’t be the first time; I’ve had those before. But some have turned out to be more than that – after close to 10 years of blogging I am still at it; after 15 years of programming it is a rewarding career instead of a little hobby.

I don’t really know why I photograph. I don’t have a clear idea about what I want to achieve, what I want my photos to say. I see that my favourite photos are quite different from most parents’ photos of their kids, and also quite different from most pro photographers’ photos of kids. I occasionally look at others’ photos to find inspiration but mostly just feel alienation. I want to understand my own photography better.

Hence this workshop. There is maybe a little less shooting during this workshop, and a lot more reflection and introspection.

Since this blog is kind of my version of a personal journal, I will be sharing some of that introspection here.