It occurred to me that I tend to load quite a few images into a file in either Aperture or LR that I've named, "Playing Around the House". I work from home, so tend to be here most of the time. During lunch or breaks in the action from work it's not uncommon for me to pick up the camera and start snapping away. I'm not trying to compose a masterpiece during these times but, rather, stay familiar with the camera, its settings and experiment with various things whether with the camera or post-processing.
I think it all helps when I do shoot with a more serious intent. Take this stairwell for example. I was totally goofing around when this shot occurred to me. And even though I was goofing around, I took time to compose (hand held) this before triggering the shutter. One thing I learned when looking at it on the monitor is, I like it but wish the back of chair wasn't right under the end of the banister. Some separation or space between the two would have made it even better I think. I'll have to redo it one of these days to verify that. But the lesson was to be observant of even the smallest details in the viewfinder before releasing the shutter and make the necessary corrections when you can - then fire away.
Even here, as I'm waiting for the water to boil for a cup of tea, I'm snapping away. Not only does this help stay fresh with the camera it helps with post-processing because I often learn something I may have been unaware of before. Or, I try something different to see what happens. Then again, I don't always do any post-processing on these particular images. It just depends on my mood, time constraints, etc.
Now, I don't have a camera with me 24 hours a day but one is usually not far away. The thing is, I really enjoy using it. The mechanics of it (DSLR) are very nice for one thing, which makes me want to use it and there's a kind of satisfaction looking at a photo later knowing that a moment in time was captured and now preserved for feeding our mind with memories for reminiscing.
Then, there's the creative aspect. I've never considered myself a creative. Not for a moment. My wife has that covered in spades. But photography has tapped something within me I didn't know existed and it's been an enjoyable process of discovery. Now that doesn't mean I'm any good at it, but that's ok. The thing is, because I enjoy it I'll keep at it and in the process improvement will happen. It's part of the learning curve. When we first learn anything we're not experts at the thing right away. It takes time, practice, patience, continued learning, and perseverance. I don't think I'm terrible at photography but other's may have a different opinion. Still others have said I'm really good and think my images are fantastic. And that speaks to our individuality and the subjective nature of art in general - one may like/dislike something that another will find the opposite to be true for them. All art is that way and one's photography is no different in that respect. It will connect with some and not with other's.
So as I continue to practice and learn, anything is fair game for the lens - even lamp shades. These times are used for trying different WB settings, apertures, various bracketing functions, flash/no flash, direct flash vs bounced flash, mitigating camera shake while hand holding, etc. There is so much to experiment with that I haven't even scraped the surface. And thats just one more thing that holds my interest with this new-found outlet. Till next time. Enjoy.