There are as many ways as there are people to evolve in the skills sets and knowledge base required to reach a competent level in photography.

From classrooms to workshops to Internet videos and articles, you can spend as much time as you have available absorbed in these activities. While these materials and activities are excellent, the challenge then becomes to apply the knowledge base in live time shooting photos on your own. That my friends is just the beginning!

I took a look back at some of my early photos, then a few years later, finishing with my latest catalogs of images. In each stage of my review I recalled the camera techniques and other considerations I used in my image captures.

I started in more of a “spray and pray” mode shooting as many images as I could. I’d wind up keeping 2 images out of say 500 images for the day. My image reviews were exercises of looking for a treasure image among the trash!

I’ve evolved to the opposite: today pressing the shutter release is the end result of considering and then solving many aspects and constraints. Perhaps the overriding considerations are “Why do I want to shoot that image coupled with what story do I want the image to tell?” I’ve come from days of shooting 500 images to today shooting maybe 30 images in the entire day. Yet it is far more work to shoot 30 winners than it is to shoot 500 trash images! It is far more fun too!

And that my friends is the joy of photography. The learning and experimenting are seemingly endless.