I received some wonderful responses to Monday's post and just wanted to remind you of one thing. Every expert was once a beginner.
We all start at the beginning. Some may learn faster than others, but that's not something that should be discouraging. Photography isn't a race. I tend to think of it as a personal journey. You get where you're supposed to be at precisely the time you're supposed to be there. It's up to you to keep moving, though.
One of the things that keeps me moving is inspiration from others. I don't mean inspiration from those who are purposely trying to inspire me, though. If there's something I absolutely detest, it's having someone try to ram inspiration down my throat. Pretty much anytime someone tells me “Here's some inspiration for you”, I'm left uninspired. It doesn't work that way.
Maybe I don't know what my own inspirational buttons are, but I kind of like it that way. Inspiration should be a surprise. That's how you know when it really strikes. Something unexpected makes you stand up and take notice. You look at something closer and say, “I want to do that!” That's how I feel when inspiration strikes me.
Most of the time, my inspiration comes from people that I think of as experts in their field. They know things that I don't know. Most of them are willing to share it, but that's education – not inspiration. When I see something and want to know how it's done, that's the impact of inspiration. As far as I'm concerned, surprise and curiosity are concomitant with inspiration.
Every Expert Was Once a Beginner
Don't get discouraged when you look at someone's work by thinking it's out of reach. If they figured out how to do it, then it's certainly possible. Maybe it takes more practice, better access, or travel to someplace far away. That doesn't mean you can't do the same thing. You just have to stop thinking of why you can't do something and instead figure out how you're going to do it. That simple shift in attitude can make a world of difference in working toward your goal.
The Chinese Laundry
This is one from the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It's one of the first places I went after I bought my Nikon D800. It's a cool place to explore at night. The streets are crowded, but you can get a clean shot at the buildings because they rope off the sidewalks so nobody can walk in front of your camera.
If only real life worked that way!