Surely you’ve heard the psychological buzzword, “metacognition.” It’s loosely defined as “thinking about thinking.” I first heard it a few years ago when I took a few classes on stress and anxiety.
The lesson I learned was that one way to deal with stress and anxiety is to think about what you’re thinking about that is causing the anxiety. This meta-cognitive practice can help diffuse the anxiety and relieve stress.
While thinking about my photography and post processing the past few days, I realized that I don’t do much meta-photography. I simply act and react based on instinct or intuition. I know what I like, a look I want to achieve, or an idea I’ve visualized. From there, I instinctively or through trial and error go about bringing that vision to life.
Instead, if I were to begin thinking about my process, I could grab hold of the steps of the process in order to recreate them. Instead of spending time deciding which action or step is next, I would already know.
I’ve been thinking that the way I post process is haphazard, when in reality I do have distinct patterns and habits… I just haven’t analyzed them enough to articulate the patterns.
So that’s my task this week… meta-photography. I’m going to pay attention to and focus on identifying current habits and patterns in my after capture routine and begin keeping a log, just like a food diary. Once I’ve got a few images logged, I’ll go back and check for patterns. Armed with that information, I have a feeling I’ll be able to figure out exactly where I can improve and make changes for a better workflow.
How’s that sound?
Have you been thinking about your photography in a meta-cognitive way?