Chapter 1, Task 1
In Progress

Task 52 – Grit is gold

Task 52

Grit is gold

The Camera Cure - task 52
As the leader of the workshop, I can observe the participants’ efforts and study the results the same day. The connection between the two is clear. Elsewhere, in life, the span of time is often much greater. The results appear so late that it is difficult for us to see which actions have actually led to something. Kai collects leaves and plants as he travels and made this well-composed picture of the course of several days. The patience and precision here reflect his personality. He is inspired by his grandmother’s interest in plants. When he uses these ‘muscles’, he makes unique pictures. The possibilities are endless. Notice how the rhythm in the spaces create the composition. Vestfold, Norway, 2015. Photo: Kai Hanse


Half-hearted efforts

People who do not get to where they want to go often have not put in the necessary efforts to do so. Only when we work with what we really want to do, do we manage to draw upon the deeper strength that we have. When I was doing kayaking at a national level, I learned that training despite the cold and rain made the big difference. You make gains when others drop out. That is what grit is all about – the crucial, important quality that is common for those people who really succeed.

Grit can be described as the ability to work persistently towards a challenging goal for years without losing energy or interest along the way despite periods where you experience defeat, resistance and a lack of progress. If you want something enough, going for it will seem effortless even when the way is hard. If you can’t bear exhausting yourself or you give up because you can’t tolerate the effort, your endurance will suffer. Over time, life can become both exhausting and intolerable.

Half-hearted efforts are usually a sign that you haven’t found your passion. You may want to revisit task 8. You get good at the activities that you use a lot time on. And now you have your chance. Soon you will have completed the entire course in this book. The time is here for taking your foot off of the brake entirely and giving it some gas. Sign up for a photography course, buy books and see programs about photography. Surround yourself with people who share your interest in photography, not least the people who are better at it than you are. Be a student, and as soon as you can let other learn from you.

On a scale of 1 to 6, how relevant is the issue for you?:



Take your foot off the brake and give it some gas

Photographers at the highest level of skill and achievement are often extra aware of their goals. They have a tendency to be so enthralled with their subjects that they seldom stop before they have taken quite a few pictures. The joy of finishing their work continuously drives them forward. Each single free moment is used to philosophize, visualize and plan, and to take picture after picture, exhibit them and produce photobooks. The photos they take help enrich the lives of so many people.

Don’t worry if you have many interests to divide your time on. I am in that category myself. It may take a lot longer to reach your goals, but you may collect experiences from many fields and find unique innovations when they overlap. Add grit to your passions and resilience and endurance follow.


What can you do that means so much to you that you are capable of putting a lot of focused work into it? How can it enrich the lives of the people around you?
This, of course, doesn’t have to be photography. But can you photograph the activity that you would prefer to spend your time on? Maybe the photos that you have taken up until now can hint a little at the direction you could take?
This time you can use more time on it. Make a project out of it.
Take the time you need. Go back to the same place, again and again.
Each time you go back, you will get better.

How useful was this task for you on a scale of 1 to 6?:

BOOK SUGGESTION: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Also see


Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.

Stephen King

Failing in the first half is not a good reason not to make an effort in the second half.

Ingvard Wilhelmsen

Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.

Angela Duckworth

People overestimate what they can achieve in a year, but underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years.

Jeff Olson