Shadow on Trees at Dune #35

The Balance Between Healthy Learning and Analysis Paralysis (Podcast 587)

As creative artists and sometimes small business owners, it's vitally important to continue to learn and grow on many levels, but I urge you to not get so caught up in technical details that you become paralyzed in the field through overthinking every decision. I love learning new skills and continuing to...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Dan Dill
    Posted at 22:06h, 28 August Reply

    Martin, apropos updating your iOS app, since you have decided to start from scratch, have you considered doing it agnostically, so that I would work also on Android?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 22:33h, 28 August Reply

      Hi Dan,

      I’ve not really given it much thought yet, but if my Swift programming reaches the point where I can actually rebuild my app, I can certainly consider working on an Android version. One step at a time though. 🙂


  • J Carlos
    Posted at 02:08h, 29 August Reply

    Very interesting and very inspiring.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:19h, 29 August Reply

      Thanks, J Carlos! I’m pleased you enjoyed this.

  • Cameron
    Posted at 02:57h, 29 August Reply

    This was a great reminder and well said! I often can become very “mad scientist” focused on the tech aspects of creating a technically perfect shot and then at the same time shoot a photo from the “hip” of which can lead to viewers saying how they love the photo from the “hip” more. In their defence, a general audience member wants to connect to a photo and the photo from the “hip” can have the intuition feeling that a “tech perfect” shot might just be lacking.

    Keep up the great work Martin!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:25h, 29 August Reply

      Thanks, Cameron!

      For sure, the more natural shots we make can often convey more than the ones that are over thought.

      I do like to create well-crafted images. I just think that striking the right balance is vitally important, and I’m seeing more and more people that are concentrating too much on the studying and what they have learned is getting in the way.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Cameron!


  • Tom Kostes
    Posted at 00:05h, 30 August Reply

    Nice article, Martin. One thing I hardly ever hear discussed is, once you have your basic skills down and know your equipment well, the value of spontaneity. Some of my very best images are ones that I had no time to think or consider, if I didn’t capture it “now” it was gone forever. In truth, I think that’s the value of learning your craft and equipment, so you will be ready and not have to think when opportunity presents itself.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 00:54h, 30 August Reply

      Well put Tom. This is what I was edging towards with my paragraph on avoiding fumbling with your camera.

      I got a shot of a Goshawk in Namibia in June that I shot so instinctively I couldn’t even remember shooting it, until the image appeared on my laptop screen as I went through my images later in the day. You can see the shot half way down this post:

      I totally agree, these things don’t happen unless you are totally in tune with your gear and your craft.


  • Jon Stallings
    Posted at 03:13h, 31 August Reply

    Great Topic Martin, I really liked how you put the emphasis on spending more time shooting than researching. Reading about you subject is great but it can become a cover up of the fear of actual doing.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 08:37h, 31 August Reply

      Exactly Jon!

      I’m pleased you enjoyed this one. Thanks for taking the time to comment!


  • Gladys Klip
    Posted at 05:07h, 03 September Reply

    Thank you for another almost philosophical podcast Martin! So often I meet people who don’t even know about the settings on their cameras. I am a autodidact myself and at a certain point you only keep on learning by photographing as much as possible and get inspired by meeting other photographers. At least this is how it works for me.

    Having said this I have a question of another nature. Nowadays you see so often the term ‘fine art photography’ and ‘fine art printing’. I was wondering what exactly is the definition of ‘fine art’ in photography and when do you call work fine art and where is the line of entering fine art photography? Do you call your work fine art? I was just wondering if you have any thoughts on this subject.

    Thanks in advance and take care,

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:16h, 04 September Reply

      Hi Gladys,

      For sure, meeting other photographers is always great for learning, and moving away from automatic settings really helps to understand how it all works.

      That’s a great question about fine art photography and fine art prints. Rather than providing a quick incomplete reply here, I’ve made a note to cover this in a future podcast. Thanks for the question!


      • Gladys Klip
        Posted at 23:23h, 04 September Reply

        Thanks Martin that’s great, I am looking forward to it! I am sure you will also cover this also but today I asked a photolab about the prices of a A3 print as I am making a portfolio and he asked if I wanted normal paper of ‘fine art’ paper. Here you go :-).


        • Martin Bailey
          Posted at 09:20h, 05 September Reply

          As far as prints go, for sure, there are certain types of media that are considered fine art, and then there’s the rest.

          Fine art media is generally matte and has to be totally archival, i.e. certified for 100 years or more. It’s also nice if it’s OBA (Optical Brightening Agent) free, but some certified archival media does contain OBAs, so it’s not a hard and fast rule.

          As for your portfolio, it’s nice to get it done on Fine Art media because it will look great, but a portfolio is a living collection, to which you’ll add and remove images, so you could make the decision to go for cheaper media. Personally, I do fine art for my printed portfolio too, but you might decide it’s not so important for this usage.

          • Gladys Klip
            Posted at 05:13h, 07 September Reply

            Thanks for the clarification Martin. I would like to go for quality indeed i.e. fine art paper. Meanwhile I am figuring out whether it would be worthwhile buying my own printer as I would like to start selling prints as well. I am looking at the Epson SC600 but am still doing some fact-finding on internet/youtube also with regard to costs of toners, pro’s and con’s etc. so no decision has been made yet. This might be something for the future. I’ll have to look up if you did a podcast in the past on printing your own photos versus ordering prints.

            • Martin Bailey
              Posted at 08:53h, 07 September Reply

              The SC600 would be a nice choice, but try to find some information on whether or not the heads clog. I stopped using Epson a number of years ago because I was tired of the heads clogging. This is probably better now though, but do try to check up on that.

              BTW, inkjet printers use inks. Toners are for laser printers. 🙂

              I haven’t really compared printing yourself versus outsourcing because I love printing myself. If you want to try printing I’d recommend giving it a try with a small 13 x 19″ printer like the ones you are investigating. These give you a great introduction to printing. You might also consider picking up my Making the Print ebook: 🙂

              • Gladys Klip
                Posted at 04:48h, 08 September Reply

                Thanks Martin for all your advice. Meanwhile I’ve bought the ebook Making the Print :-), it looks fantastic, exactly what I am looking for and which will no doubt answer all my questions!

                • Martin Bailey
                  Posted at 08:22h, 08 September Reply

                  Thanks for picking up Making the Print Gladys! I’m not sure it will answer “all” of your questions, but it will give you a great foundation to start printing with.

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