Whenever I really wanted to learn something I practice incessantly. As a young scout I wanted to tie knots well, so I found the perfect piece of rope. It was small and fitted into my pocket. I took it everywhere. I would even take it to bed. I would practice and practice and practice. Then I would practice with my eyes closed or in the dark.
To this day my knots, bends and hitches are still beautiful. All that practice as a wiry twelve year old made sure that those skills are firmly anchored in my long term memory. I still tie knots without thought.
I would always practice slowly making sure each move was perfect. How much rope in each hand, where to make the bight for a bend. Getting it exactly right really matters. The mantra is “Perfect practice produces perfect performance”.
Never practice bad habits or errors.
Work out systems and stick to them.
Figure out a method that is logical or feels just right for you and stick to it.
I picked this exercise up from Bruce Barnbaum in his notes for Large Format Photographers.
Sit down in your favorite chair, lounge or place with some time on your hands
With your camera practice using it. Practice each movement with clear dedication intention.
Don’t even consider your photographs. Just take lots.
Consider and practice:
How you turn the camera on and off
How you hold it
Where each finger goes
Which controls each finger sits on
Changing shutter speed
Practice until you can do each skill without looking
Do you think you can already do this? Can you take a photograph by feel?
I am thinking an hour a day for a week would be a good goal
Return every second day all week and practice some more
Take many beautiful photographs from your spot, without moving from your spot
Post one photograph from your spot in the comments bellow