What I Can Do: Perspective on Learning

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

This is one of those weeks where I really need to take John Wooden’s advice to heart.  I got a chance to go out and take some photos this week and have been excited to get them uploaded to Lightroom so I could take a look at them.  The results were disappointing, but I don’t know that I could realistically expect them to be very good.   This is a season in my life where there isn’t much time to practice my photography.  We’ve been inundated with much needed rain that keeps me inside much more often than I would like.  I have a new job, that I love, which means that every day is full of new learning experiences and learning experiences take time.  It is also spring volleyball season which means we are busy with practices and games.  Those of you trying to juggle being a spouse, parent, employee, family member, and friend while trying to start your own business know the struggle.  Of course my photography is not improving if I am not practicing.

I am fortunate to have a full-time job that pays the bills and brings me a lot of joy.  The photography business isn’t required to support my family, but it is required to fulfill the creative and outdoor aspects of my personality.  While I was feeling sorry for myself and my lack of progress I came across the John Wooden quote above and started thinking of the things I can do now that I could not do one year ago.  Yes, my progress is slow, but it is progress and there are a lot of things I can do.  Shifting my perspective allowed me to get excited about how much I will have learned one year from today. It also helped me to clarify and prioritize what I want to learn over the next twelve months.

What I learned or accomplished in the last 12 months:

  • How to use my flash with competence
  • How to use nearly every feature in Lightroom
  • How to use Photoshop to complete sky replacements, focus stacking, and HDR
  • How to create a panorama
  • Improved my eye for composition and lighting
  • Started a photography blog
  • Started an Instagram account
  • Started a Facebook page for my photography
  • Completed a course on blogging
  • Completed one course in business and am working on a second

Here are my goals for the next 12 months:

  • Learn every function of my camera
  • Finish the Anthony Morganti “Learn Lightroom” series on You Tube
  • Learn about star trails and night photography
  • Find apps that help me track the Milky Way
  • Perfect my panning technique
  • Incorporate flash into more of my outdoor photo shoots
  • Figure out how to switch my blog over to WordPress.org so I can use plugins
  • Learn how to use plugins
  • Begin learning Photoshop


I will always have more to learn than I have time available to learn it.  Even if I eventually move to full-time photography that will be true.  And that challenge is part of what makes any type of artistic endeavor so exciting.  I will never be done learning and improving.


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