Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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When is "good enough" good enough?

I've just posted a comment to a discussion thread on Flickr and a little lightbulb clicked on in my head.

I don't have to keep up with everyone on there.

The OU course I did last year was more successful than I could have imagined. Not in terms of the mark I obtained (which was the subject under discussion!), but in giving me a kick up the backside and making me take photography seriously again. It also motivated me to buy a camera with more than just Auto settings and got me into Flickr, which gives me somewhere to post my better efforts and thus helps keep me motivated.

The downside of being part of an active Flickr group is that I want to do what everyone else is doing. I want to keep up with the people who are deadly serious about their photography, many of whom have ambitions to do it professionally. I'm not saying I'm not serious about it, but I have neither the time nor the motivation to be that serious.

I've been working hard on my photography for nearly a year. Time now, I think, to stop pushing so hard and let everything I've learned settle for a bit. I achieved what I wanted, which was to be good enough to teach the Level 1 and Level 2 digital photography courses at the college and feel confident doing it. I have my own self-imposed challenge (to take self-portraits) and I'll keep on setting myself challenges once I've completed this one. But I need to stop thinking I should be trying everything. Street photography can wait, as can playing with more complex effects in Photoshop.

I had an insight into the writing while watching the final episode of the BBC 4 series on fantasy. It's made me feel that perhaps I could think of some more commercial ideas if I approach things a bit differently. (ie go out and actively look for ideas rather than waiting for them to come to me. Ideas do come, plenty of them, but they're ideas that appeal only to me and not to a larger readership.) But to do that I'll have to spend more time writing and less on photography. I think that will be OK now. The photography's good enough for the moment. It'll need another push every so often, I don't want to get complacent again, but I want to do other things too.
Tags: photography, writing reflection

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