True confession: After 30 years of being a photographer i’m tired of faking it. By ‘faking it’, I mean passing off my mediocre photography editing skills as ‘professional’. This past weekend I took a small step away from ‘Imposter syndrome‘ and one step closer to my ‘new years resolution‘.  I spent a good part of my Saturday learning Photoshop (PS).

Really? I’m laughing at myself for even writing that sentence. Yes, I will confess my PS skills are awful. Ok, obviously they can’t be that bad since I’ve been muddling along well enough to sell a few prints here and their, but I’ve never had a solid foundation of knowledge to work from. Participating on this blog and being exposed to the wonderful photography of both my fellow bloggers and our guest authors, has made it obvious that I need to improve my skills. I’m tired of faking it.

So what finally got me to tackle this project after 30 years of avoidance? It was Mike’s post last week on finding someone to critique his photos. I’ve also been searching for someone that I trust and respect enough to help me to see my photos short comings. No matter how self critical we can be about our own work, we’re often too close to it to be truly objective. So with Mike’s blessing I sent him my Best of 2015 photo book for a thorough critique. I wasn’t disappointed.

It was wonderful to see my work through a fresh set of eyes and my head is swimming with ideas about how to both re-edit certain images and re-stage others.

With the help of I’m well into a basic PS course but I realize there is still so much to learn. I’m already struggling to find the time to practice what I’m learning, much less continue with this first course. This is another reason to pull back from social media, I plan on using my extra time to take my work to the next level. I don’t have any fantasies about becoming an expert on PS, I simply want to help my images be the best they can be. I find myself borrowing a page from Avanaut’s book; I’m enjoying going back to favorite images and re-editing them as I practice my new skills.

A lego version of the Mouse Guard character Lieam journeys down the sparkling river in his Lego canoe.

This was taken at Magnuson Park while I was kneeling in the mud near the beaver damn. The result was well worth the effort.

Lieam in canoe

Not perfect, but certainly a step in the right direction.

While I’m not completely happy with what I accomplished with this re-edit, it’s an improvement. With each edit I realize how much more I have to learn. I can tell I’m moving in the right direction; I can see that in no time at I all I won’t be faking it. The best part of this process is that I’m a little more confident that maybe I’m not an imposter after all.

~ Shelly

I’m sure I’m not alone in my procrastination skills. What is your worst (or best) example of procrastination?