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I know when I first got excited about photography, it was when I first invested in a serious underwater rig. I was using film and had no clue what I was doing. If I got a well exposed slide with a half way decent composition, I was ecstatic and I showed it to everyone I could. I printed 8x10s on my old Canon printer of a lot of mediocre images.
Fast forward seven years and I started my foray into landscape photography. Same thing. If I came home with some streaking water around a rock with a halfway decent sky that I tamed with my squeaky clean filters, I was stoked!
But time moves on. Skills improve, and the critical eye refines itself. Images that would have made me jump for joy a few years ago would now leave me feeling disappointed that I didn't create my *next* portfolio image.
While it is good to be self critical and always be striving for improvement, my words of advice are not to get too caught up in the "results" of your photographic endeavors. Instead focus on the journey, the "process" of photography. This means enjoying the drive or hike to get to your destination. Enjoy the company you keep or the solitude you seek. Soak in the sights, sounds, smells, and tactile sensations of your surroundings. Let all your senses experience the moment instead of letting the quality of the final images dictate your enjoyment.
Nikkor 12-24mm @ 14mm
1/13 sec, f9, ISO 200
Singh-Ray 3-stop reverse and LEE .9 Hard GNDs
Processed 90% in Lightroom 4 Beta and finished off in CS5. Loving LR4! It could change how I edit single exposure images such as this one.