Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Practice

cold fish
Guitarists often practise daily out of sheer joy

Developing Muscle Memory for Photography

Who would have thought muscle memory had anything to do with photography? Scott Bourne explains that, just like musical ability, practising with one’s camera is vital in aiming for that perfect shot, or lots more perfect shots! Scott explains:

During the pandemic, I am practising my modal scales on the guitar every day and I am handling my camera every day. I see the benefits right in front of me. Both my musical ability and my photographic ability have improved. If you do not use them, you will lose them.

So give this a try. Grab your camera and your camera manual. Open any random page in the manual and then whatever it describes, do that with the camera. Not only will your muscle memory improve, your knowledge of your specific camera will improve and then all that stuff will simply go away and drift into the background while you use all your brain’s conscious processing power to SEE and compose the next great image.

What do you practise?

For me, I practise my art techniques – that is: painting and drawing and blogging, of course.

I can never produce anything of substance, if I do it once every three months or so. If I do it daily, or as often as I can, – I notice a HUGE improvement in my skills. I paint in a particular form of traditional Norwegian and Dutch art, called Rosemaling and Hindeloopen style. I have been practising this for many years, on and off.

I transfer the painted articles to custom print on demand fabrics and merchandise as a hobby.

Lately, I have also experimented with a Japanese/Chinese technique painting bamboo forms with a soft brush.

Norwegian rosemaling art
Norwegian Tine or Lunch box in Rosemaling

Don’t let your skills languish. Keep them sharp with practice, either in or out of home.

rosemaling tutorial
Painting Telemark scrolls with a flat brush

Weekly Photo Theme – Practice

This week for Friendly Friday, I challenge you to show me your interpretation of the theme “Practice,” in photographs.

Dutch Traditional Art Called Hindeloopen

Photographs in mobile, SLR, or point and shoot are all acceptable formats.

What are you practising with your camera’s eye?

Composition, Exposure, Shutter Speed, Subjects?

Perhaps it was something you practised in your past?

Music, Sports, Art or Public Speaking? Post something from your photographic archives, perhaps?

Experimenting with Japanese Bamboo painting

Instructions for Joining the Friendly Friday Challenge

Friendly Friday Instructions in detail

Do include a pingback and leave a comment here with a link, so all readers can find your post! I look forward to seeing what posts you come up with for this week’s prompt.

Sandy will post the next weekly prompt. Stop by and see what she comes up with next Friday.


55 thoughts on “Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Practice”

  1. Hi Amanda, This is the first time I have heard about muscle memory for photography. Very good point on practising both creative pursuits. I am in awe of anyone who paints and other art forms. When we used to play Pictionary, my chicken and horse looked almost identical. My latest fun practice is making sure I use the tripod. I carry it with me wherever I go and I try to use it daily. An interesting post, Amanda!


    1. A light tripod is invaluable for improving photography, Eric/ka. I used to have one myself when I used a manual SLR camera. It captured photos way better than the mobile camera I use now. So I have some old photos that are good quality.
      I had not heard of the muscle memory for photography before I read Scott’s post. It is interesting and I could see how it makes sense. Getting the arms used to holding the camera steady for a closeup or zoomed in shot. The lens can be heavy. I used to use the tripod in those instances and for macro shots. Do you use it for all photos? Or just macros?
      As for painting, it has taken me years to learn techniques, as I am not naturally artistic. Luckily the art I like to do is heavy on technique!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lately, Amanda it is for that selfie of my husband and me, or a group. Playing around with it, since people seem to relax more if they are not posing. The 10 second timer and running to get into the shot creates lots of giggles and good photos. I have only had it for a few weeks. Have a great weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You have made the use of the tripod a fun activity. Sounds like lots of bonding going on. That is awesome and what’s more there is never anyone left out of the photo, or stuck in the corner as with a regular selfie. I hope your weekend is joyous and fun.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your Rosemaling. John’s mother was born here of Norwegian parents, and she always had beautiful objects decorated in the Norwegian style.

    My photos are quick snaps used to illustrate what I’m writing about. Actually, the photos often come first, and I build a post around them. This isn’t really practice; it’s whipping the camera out of the pocket to catch something amusing or touching.

    After many years of not practicing the piano, I now try to play at least half an hour a day. Luckily, my family does not object. When the windows are open, the neighbors listen! I know, because one of them texts while I’m playing to say that she is listening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I create a post around a series of photos too! A good idea.
      I am so happy you know of Rosemaling, Anne and that your M-i-L had traditional Norwegian objects. I have a few too. I love them! Are they wooden items?
      And I wonder what started you on playing the piano again?


      1. John’s sisters have the Rosemaling pieces now. Yes, they are wooden.

        We recently had the piano tuned, which we do routinely. I played it before the man came and found the action very stiff. As he was leaving, he said he had lubricated it and that I should play it every day for a while. The keys were much easier to play. I’m telling myself that I must keep on for the good of the instrument and for my brain health.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So true for many things. Practice, practice, practice! And keeping an open mind to trying different approaches.
    I often tell my students that! I don´t mind them “failing” (their words) as long as they keep trying to understand, keep trying to get it right. They´re in school to learn new thing and to further develop the knowledge they already have. Some get this, for others it is such a struggle to understand that it is OK to not get it right the first time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You sound like a fantastic teacher. I wish I had you as a teacher at daughter’s school. I like the way you say you don’t mind they “failing” as long as they keep trying. Many give up too soon. Persistence and perseverance is something we all could have more of. Thanks for your wonderful comment. Are you working with high schoolers?


    1. It is definitely a good way to get to know your camera functions better. There are some functions that are way over my head. Thanks for joining in. I will pop over later today to check out your contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You have identified two things, Janis. Procrastination and gratification. It is hard to get motivated to practice any boring activity regularly, but once that habit is established, we can reach that goal and experience gratification. Easier said that done, of course. I am learning to tolerate frustrations a little bit at a time, by deliberating choosing to feel small amounts of frustration. I posted about frustration last sunday and have been working on that this week! I think I am making progress by starting out small. I wonder if that would work for you with your photography?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So much talent out there, I had a really great camera(was stolen) haven’t really gotten back into it yet. I use to paint mainly using oils,will pick it up again one day. I use to dance(ballet & Jazz) will do that again one day, not as gracefully I would love a Kiln for pottery, I have a guitar that I will one day learn, i promise, lol. I learnt piano as a child I don’t remember much now. If I am really stressed & a little non functional I like to challenge myself to copy other peoples drawings, not to call my own but rather improve my own technique. So much to do so little time. haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sketching lines of other’s work is a great way to improve one’s visual acuity and sketching skills, Linda. I will sketch some of the older Rosemaling works as a way to improve. Then as I am sketching I will sometimes make it my own sketch. It becomes an adapted sketch then. It is still training that left side of the brain to recognize shapes. You have loads of ideas for practice and loads of things to keep you busy in life. Well done. Keeping busy is have the battle against feeling blue.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sandy. The styles I paint are very traditional and heavy on technique. It brings me a lot of joy to paint something pretty and functional. Having a function is important. The bamboo ink is actually quite simple, but for me the challenge of painting freehand is always present. I zero in too much on the single stroke forgetting to look at the whole. Consequently, I often add in too many strokes. I have to watch that. Anyone can do Chinese painting I think, as far as the technique goes. It is the design and directions of strokes that give free rein to conquer or crash!


  5. I love this challenge even though I am not a photographer.☺️ You made such a powerful connection to developing our interests, skills, passions, etc by doing something as often as possible. I will take up the challenge by learning and writing every day. Love your challenges! 🌈🧡

    Liked by 1 person

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