Thursday, January 29, 2009

What I Have Learned From Others

When I was young, my entire goal in life was to get out of school. I thought that graduating would be the end of instruction. I know now, looking back on it, that that is primarily a teenage frame of mind. Learning is something people do, or are supposed to do, their entire life.

I never tire of hearing new things. But the first step one must take is being able to admit you don't know everything. There is nothing worse than someone who has an answer, or a defense, for every action. Personally speaking, I know I don't know it all. As a result, I have taught myself to feed my desire for facts by gleaning from the wisdom of others. What I know about photography I received by studying the paths of other photographers. I did not model my style of photography after any one individual, but rather, what I do with my camera lens today is the result of tidbits from many people. There is nothing better to help your photography than viewing the work of others. I have spent hours just trolling the web staring at photographs. Even images I don't care for, I learn from when I learn what I don't want to do.

Similarly, who I am today, the decisions I make, the things I say, and the steps I ultimately take are a combination of what I have captured from the knowledge and actions of everyone else whose life has affected mine. My grandmother taught me to love birds as she loved birds, and countless friends on the web taught me how to photograph them and others how to identify them.

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler

One man, my mentor whom I have discussed before, taught me to appreciate bees and wasps. He and others taught me how to photograph them. And it only took one person on the web a few minutes to recognize this bee species and genus and know that it was a female. I am who I am as a result of what I have taken in from so many others.

Bee, Centris nitida

A Visitor In My Garden, Centris nitida

Knowing I don't know it all is a relief to me. Knowing I don't have to fix everything or always have an answer is another release. Knowing when I make mistakes, I can be forgiven is the final step to true freedom. Being thankful for all I have received is my gift to all those people, nameless or otherwise, who have shared what they know with me.

Polka Dotted Wasp Moth


Polka Dotted Wasp Moth


post signature

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA


Mary said...


Your photgraphs are superb. I love all of them. The shot of the bumblebee is marvelous.

I agree that we spend our entire lives learning. Like you, I couldn't wait for my school years to be finished. Ironically, the moment I was out of school, I started studying and researching things that were of interest to me.

Today, I love photography, writing, reading and a wide range of other hobbies. I learn something new on a daily basis and like your grandmother, I pass my love of birds and nature on to my grandsons.

Enjoyed my visit.

scw1217 said...

That is as it should be. I had a million analogies for this blog: the stories my grandfather told me about being in the Coast Guard, how my other grandfather was a farmer, how my mother teaches at Bible schools, all that makes me who I am. In reciprocal, I hope I can share a piece of what I know with my daughter, who can then pass it on to her children. Glad you liked the post and the pictures.