Hone your vision. Don’t change it.

They say your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. If that’s the case, then we should be motivated to shoot often in order to surpass our less than perfect images and attain something better, right?

But is it really better? Are all those 10,000 images really so bad? Our worst? It always seemed like an exaggeration to me. On the contrary, I have often looked back to my earliest work, to find inspiration.

I wasn’t distracted by settings or likes…I didn’t overthink it. My eye was naturally attracted to certain things and so I photographed it.

Seems a good method. And one I think we’ve lost sight of in the now fast paced, gear driven world of photography.

Let’s simplify. Go back to the beginning. Trust our gut, not our histogram. We can learn a lot from looking to our own work for inspiration. We may even find that we’re still attracted to the same things we once were, even if we now approach them differently.

Here are a few shots I took way back in the spring of 2009, as I was practicing with my first DSLR.

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Glacier National Park, Montana

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I still love photographing leaves. I shot this one just a few months ago:

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The goal is to refine our photographic tastes, to hone our skill and to sharpen our eye. Not to change it all together. Not to copy others (be it in what we photograph or how we post process our digital files). Be unique. Be you. No one else can.