Small Successes

Photography can be very frustrating. Anyone that has been bitten by the photography bug will tell you; it can be downright discouraging. I know, I have been frustrated by trying something new in photography more times than I care to admit. It used to bug me more than it does now, why I’m not sure, maybe it has something to do with getting older or (please don’t tell me) I’m finally growing up. Perhaps I have just become confident that I will eventually figure it out. It might be that I know can find the answer somewhere on the internet. I am reasonably sure there is a 12-year-old somewhere in the world with a YouTube channel that has the answer I’m looking for. Getting frustrated happens because the stuff that we really need or want to learn is much harder to understand than we are ready to admit. The trick is to not get frustrated enough to give up.

Red Truck

Look for the small successes. They happen more often than you might think, and they should be celebrated. When they happen, take a moment to congratulate yourself. Do you remember that first picture that came out exactly as you wanted it to? Or the first time that you knew exactly which blending mode to use in Photoshop to get the effect you wanted without trying two or three others first? These are small successes that we all should celebrate. One of the hardest things for me to wrap my head around was the relationship between f-stops and aperture. I didn’t understand the answer to that question for many years. I just forgot about the why and just accepted it as the way it is, but I still wanted to know the answer. When I finally stumbled upon then answer, explained in a way that made sense to me, I had a minor freak fit. The answer was so easy, yet took so long for me to understand, I felt a bit silly.

Small successes in photographic lives can happen every day. Getting out with your camera even for a short time with your busy schedule can be a  small success. Gaining the confidence that you have set up the camera so it can do its job while you are doing your’s, is another. Don’t let frustration spoil the fun of getting out with your camera and having a good time. Practising is always a good thing and leads to many small successes. The more you practice, the more small successes will come your way and the better you will become as a photographer.

Get out there with your camera, have fun and celebrate the small successes when they happen!

For more information about the Tetbury Camera Club, please visit us online at

An article I wrote for the Tetbury Camera Club that appeared in the September 2020 edition of the Tetbury Advertiser.

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