The 4 Stages of Competence and Photography
When studying photography you are learning some knowledge/facts and some skills. For example, you are learning how to compose a photograph.
How do you take a good photograph? What's the process? How do you do it?
Learning how to shoot a good photograph is like learning how to shoot a good foul shot in basketball.
|Photo by mollyali (flickr.com).|
Photo used under Creative Commons license and embedded using the Flickr share feature.
Whether we are learning how to shoot a basketball, how to study for an exam or how to take a good photograph, we go through some stages.
The Four Stages
1. Unconscious Incompetence - We don't know that we don't know.
We are unaware of what it takes to accomplish a task. We don't know what it takes to make that foul shot. We don't know what it takes to get the perfect photograph.
2. Conscious Incompetence - We know that we don't know.
We may not know exactly how to do the task, but we recognize there are things we need to learn. We become aware that there are certain things we need to do to consistently make that foul shot. We become aware that there are certain things we need to do to consistently make a good photograph.
3. Conscious Competence - We know that we know.
We are very consciously aware of the steps to doing a task and we can carefully work through the steps of the task. We know what is needed to make the foul shot and we consciously think through those steps when taking the foul shot. We know what is needed to make a good photograph and we consciously think through those steps when taking a photograph.
4. Unconscious Competence - We don't know that we know.
We know the task so well, we don't think about it any more. It has become second nature. We take that shot with little conscious thought.
What was the last skill you remember learning in which you went through these stages? Can you describe what happened in each stage and when?
When it comes to photography, what stage are you in now? What's your goal?
Note: The Four Stages of Competence has been attributed to noted psychologist Abraham Maslow, Gordon Training International and William Howell in intercultural communication.
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See more about me at my web site WilliamHartPhD.com.