In photography, as in life, in order to become proficient in something you need to work at it. As the old joke goes - "Excuse me, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." In our current fast paced world, we expect something to happen immediately, and often don't take the time to understand and practice toward improving work, relationships, friendships, athletics, knowledge, hobbies. We want things NOW!
I recently had a personal experience of this while out photographing a local botanic garden from which the above image was taken. While working on this shot, I had two people stop to see what I was doing. They watched me take a shot, change settings, take another shot, move left and right, take another shot...well, as photographers, that's what we do. Finally, one of them asked me - "how many pictures of this are you going to take?" I answered - "as many as I need to get to the one I really want." As they were walking away, shaking their heads, I heard one say "what a load of work for one picture."
Yes, it is a lot of work for one picture, but I knew from my practice that doing this would yield the best amount of images from which to choose. I wanted to convey what I felt and saw while looking at this flower than had fallen on an old tree stump, and I knew I needed to take many different shots to get the feeling and visual effect I wanted out of the final image.
The idea of practice applies to our personal life as well. We have to work and learn and practice and change, often starting over many times before we reach proficiency or mastery. There are few "overnight" successes. Nearly anyone considered a true master of their profession or calling gets there without many, many hours of practice. They fail, they start again. They learn from what did not work and apply that as they continue practicing.
So remember this the next time you do something and it just does not yield the results you wanted. Have you honed your practice? Remember, you won't get to Carnegie Hall - or anywhere else any other way!
All the best,