Everybody knows that you can learn from looking at the work of great photographers. The question is: how? Do you simply absorb knowledge by being in the same room with a bunch of Ansel Adams prints? Or do you have to be more purposeful about it?
I wondered about that as I visited an exhibition with my wife recently. It was a showing of the best images from the 2018 World Press Photo Contest, organized by the Lightscape Foundation, here in Washington, DC, but it could just as easily have been any exhibit anywhere and any type of art. What could I learn from the artworks that would make my own photography better? What could I do that would make me more cognizant and appreciative of the artistry in the winning pieces? We came up with six tasks that I could set for myself as I went through the hallways. I think they might help anyone make their visit to an art space a very productive piece of learning.