I play a lot of golf and you’ll often hear me equate that hobby with photography because there’s a lot of learning overlap for those of us that don’t do either professionally.

Well, a while back I read something about how the enjoyment, is in the improvement. Read that again… the enjoyment of an activity, lies in our improvement over time. 

(Side Note: I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave them below)

It got me thinking… What if some one could implant the knowledge of mastering your camera overnight right in to your head. So, when you woke up tomorrow, you would feel comfortable photographing any scene (or in my case a better golf swing). 

Would I be happy?

I think the knee-jerk answer is “Yes, I’d be thrilled!”. But after thinking about it, I’ve come to realize that there’s really some truth to how the enjoyment of something is closely tied to the improvement steps we take to get better at it. 

After thinking about it, I feel if some one implanted that knowledge in my head overnight, I would actually lose something. 

I’m not trying to be arrogant by saying this, but I would consider myself an expert photographer and photo editor – both in using the tools and also in knowing my subjects and how to photograph/edit them. And I often have people say/write to me, “I wish I could download everything you know in to my head immediately”. 

But do you really? Have you ever done something with the camera, or on the computer and had that “Ahah!!!” Moment? You stopped, and looked at it and excited about what you accomplished. It’s fun right?

It feels good. 

To be honest, it’s hard for me to get that feeling in photography anymore. I have to work at it and grind to make small gains, and when I take a photo I know is good, I don’t really get as big a feeling of accomplishment as I used to. So I have to push more and work more to get there – and that pushes me to better photography that I didn’t know I was capable of 5 years ago. 

Back in 2015, I was just happy if I photographed action and it was semi-sharp. I never knew why it was, but that was enough to make me happy.

When I play golf with a really good golfer, they hit an amazing shot and I’ll say “Dude… that was fantastic… I could never dream of hitting that shot”. But they’re very nonchalant about it. It’s because they expect it. They do it many times when they play. But that confidence also pushes them to do things THEY think is hard, and of course better scores than I could think of at this point. 

So I really do think there is something to this – how the enjoyment of something, is in the improvement of it. 

I’ll tie this back to action photography because I have to – because I have a course to talk about 😉

Whether you photograph (or want to photograph) animals, people, cars, planes, bikes, etc… it’s a hard process for many people. There are a lot of things we have to know in our camera to make this happen, and it can seem daunting. I bet for some of you that may be good at photographing birds or sports, at some point you were just happy to have a sharp bird or player in the frame – forget about whether or not the shot was good. But maybe today, you’re at a different level. And there was a lot of joy that you felt along the way.

Well, I hate to tell you, but nobody is coming to implant all of that information in your brain to get you there. However, I do believe the joy of knowing your camera’s most advanced features of Auto focus and knowing what makes a subject sharp, is fun and can lead to confidence. You paid a lot of money for your gear, and spend a lot of time trying to get in front of a good subject. 


And when you do, that photo of a flying bird, or a child running in a soccer game, or a plane in the air, won’t seem so hard to get. It’ll free you up to concentrate on the really hard part of photography. The part where you know you’re advanced if this is what you think about – getting your camera in front of great moments.

But if you’re stuck just hoping for a sharp photo, it’s really tough to get there. 

I’ll close with a shameless sales pitch… I hope you swing by and take a look at my new course on Action Photography. I want to help you photograph all of those moving things that you may come across. Nobody can implant this information in to your head, but let me tell ya’… I believe I can really help you enjoy the process of getting better, and make that process happen more consistently, with less hassle and you’ll have more fun along the way. 


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