What have you learned from the lessons of the last 12 months

What can reflecting on lessons learned do for us?

When we take a look back at what we’ve learned it can help us to think differently, challenge us and make a positive impact on how we move forward. It can connect us, allow us to learn something new and learn from each other.

Looking back at the past year

Think about your photography (and your life) in the last 12 months. Did you have any big a-ha moments? Was there something that finally clicked in your technique? Did something very small happen that made a big impact? Perhaps there was an image you created that you really enjoyed, that conveyed the feelings you had when you shot it. Was there something you realized about your creativity or creativity in general?

Lessons learned in life and photography

Maybe you learned a huge life lesson, something that will change how you move forward in your life. Have you met and connected with other photographers in person this past year? Developed new friendships? Did you realize you can make your life easier by renting equipment? Maybe you memorized Brent’s shutter speed rule (double focal length of lens and that’s your shutter speed – 600mm – 1/1200) and that made your photography better. Perhaps the lessons you learned when you look back don’t have anything to do with photography.

What does the coming year bring, what have you learned from the lessons of the last 12 months?

Challenges are a part of life, we all experience them and learning from them is one way to grow and move forward. Take what you’ve learned and apply it to the next year. Create more meaningful and deeper relationships, be more authentic, slow down and take time to just be. Step away from technology every now and then. Be open to new experiences. Think and be inquisitive like a child.

Create new and positive routines such as journaling, exercising, meditating or making the time to take the camera out on a regular basis. Be positive. Period. We all impact each other, make your impact positive. Treat yourself the same and pay attention to how you talk to yourself.


In the end, whatever is happening is temporary, remember that. This too shall pass.

Make sure to celebrate the wins no matter how big or small and celebrate life.

Photo BootCamp Magazine

In this issue of BootCamp magazine, find out what lessons our BootCamp members have learned in the last 12 months in creatin more meaningful and deeper images.

And be sure to check out how you can join BootCamp at the end of the magazine!

(Larger file for desktop or iPad).

Alternatively if you have a slower connection you can view this magazine Here on ISSUU.

Below is a small sample of what’s in this magazine…

Join The Fastest, ‘Funnest’ Way To Improve Your Photography!

Photo BootCamp Academy is an online community where busy photographers gather to take their photography to new levels of enjoyment and progress.

  • Discover exciting new skills
  • Rekindle your passion for taking photos
  • Improve fast with helpful feedback
  • Experience enjoyment and progress

Inside BootCamp Magazine

Featured Artist

Let’s take a look at this month’s magazine. Here is our featured artist of the month, Bruce Patterson, from the United States.

For his featured image, he said his favorite lesson was Breaking the rules. He has a reputation of being a bit on the edge around his current neighborhood. So, when he found two feathers he was inspired to create a photograph like none other. He had just purchased a flatbed scanner and that became his camera. Using the technique of “scanography”, he created the attached photo and shared it with the group. (See what he did there? Share Inspire Create.) This process got him thinking he was not using all of his camera’s abilities. He re-read the manual and started trying some of the features that were “new to him”.

Comment: Gina Skinner“Bruce – like Erez, this idea of scanography is new and appreciated, it’s creative and helps me see that I am only limited by my own imagination! I admit that I still giggle at the thought of fire ants that spilled out of the shaft of one of the feathers. 🙂 I really appreciate the story, the process, the innovative idea and the reminder that I, too, need to revisit the camera manual, “a lot” more than I do, lol!”

Cover Image

This month’s magazine cover image is from Keri Down from the Australia. This photo, she has chosen maybe has more of an analogy attached to it rather than being a great shot. Her life changed 5 months ago when her sister passed away suddenly. She has not had the time, the inclination or the inspiration to pick up her camera. Keri gave it a go for the last challenge but didn’t upload anything so she thought she would use the picture for this challenge instead. You are an inspiring bunch. She has been reading all of your comments and has reflected on why she joined BootCamp in the first place. Which is community, kindness, and such encouragement. Keri chose this picture because for her it represents the turmoil you might feel when life is tough (blurred lines and a little darkness) however the light that is ever present in that life allows beauty to be seen, to be enjoyed, to be cherished.

Comment: Gina Skinner“Really colorful capture, Richard. I like the speed of the spin, if that makes sense. The zoom does not feel frenzied, which makes this image, (visually), easier to appreciate! Well done :)”

Active Members

Let’s take a look at the other members and see if they have applied all the things that they have learned for the past 12 months.
Starting with Laima Ratajczak from Australia. “Lessons Learned” has been terrific as it has caused her to reflect on her time in BootCamp and all the things she has learned. She joined in the hopes to get off AUTO and to learn how to take a “good” photo, not unlike many other members. However, it has been so much more. Laima loves the community and how everyone is so positive and honest and how as various members are going through personal turmoil they have been supported by the group. She really didn’t know much about photography itself when she joined (eg. leading lines, composition, light, complementary colours, etc.) so it has been a huge learning curve. But for her there has been even more. She used to be one of those people who didn’t really like a lot of post-processing as she wanted the photo to be “real”. Well, all that has changed and she now sees photography truly as an art form and not just for capturing an image and she absolutely loved the ICM challenge, it was so much fun. “Thank you Brent for all your support and hard work with the group and I hope 2020 is a better year for you and your family. Also thank you to all BootCamp members for your support and encouragement since I joined.”

Comment: Tess Blewchamp“I love the colours in this and the silky lines the movement has created. You’ve got a lovely smooth and straight vertical movement – well done”

Next we have Peter from the Australia. He wishes everyone happiness & peace over the Christmas and New Year holiday period & is looking forward to 2020. Peter’s last pic for the year is in a tunnel in New Zealand that is 1.3 kilometers though the mountain and quite a long walk. He walked into the opening and saw the perfect shot so here it is and the lesson is to see things differently than before.

Comment: Sara O’Brien“Peter, I like it. Is is an optical illusion that the tunnel seems to twist a bit? I love the color and the detail of the brick.”

Next we have Kathy Wolfe from the United States. Kathy doesn’t usually like so much going on in her photos, although when she started processing the set of images she took before work, this image of the snow stuck with her. She didn’t get any pictures of fall so the mixture of fall and winter came to mind. This image made her feel like she was going into the unknown. Most of all it has brought her out of her photography block.

Comment: Ruth Lopez“As others have mentioned I love the leading lines and overall composition; however, what I like the most is your capture of the warmer colors in this winter scene. Usually there is a blue hue to winterscapes. The touches of gold from the sunlight hitting the trees complement the softness of the foliage, make me wish I could take a stroll through here.”

Then we have Erez Shilat from Israel. Lesson – if you can’t find the image in your mind – create it. This is a composite created by Photoshop. He had it more or less in his mind when photographing the original tree image. The tree was taken out of its environment to a scene created using few images. Erez guessed that the lesson truly learned here is never be afraid to learn new skills. After he watched tutorials by few of his favorite landscape photographers, he learned that they use similar techniques to a little less of an extent than how “wildly” he used them here.

Comment: Esther Iglich“I love it. The sense of humor here really makes the composition. From some of my attempts, it seems like people really appreciate the thought (and skills) that go into such a creation. Definitely not a snapshot to say the least!”

And last but not the least, this is from Richard Hutson from the United States. He has been taking pictures of ‘Gran Cavallo’ for many years, but last fall he shot with intent to create an artful image. He goes to the Gardens every year when he visits his sister. Gran Cavallo is impressive, to say the least, and it has captivated him. Without knowing the term “Going Deep”, Richard embraced this practice long ago because this subject, as well as others that fascinated him, are always changing how they present themselves depending on the atmospheric conditions surrounding them, and of course how you set up the shot. Although it’s unlikely that he will ever leave sunny California for a winter visit, he would love to see this horse with a full blanket of snow. This is the first time he has posted this image. The image was cropped from the photo and developed in Lightroom drawing on lessons learned in BootCamp to emphasize his eye and adjust the light and shadows for clarity and detail.

Comment: Christian Piron“Richard, very nice picture. I like the perspective you used. Very nice B&W with a matching clouded sky as background. Very dramatic. Good composition. Well done.”

So what do you think? Have our members have learned a lot from the past 12 months? Were they able to apply what they’ve learned to the images they have created? You too can take what you’ve learned and apply it to the next year and create more inspirational images and share with others. If you are not yet a member of this awesome family now is the best time to become a member. You can check out the complete BootCamp Magazine and see for yourself!


  • Reflecting on the past year can help us think differently about how we move forward into the next year.
  • What lessons have you learned over the past year? Use these lessons to improve your photography and life.
  • Step away from technology from time to time. Create real connections with others.
  • Alway remember that everything is temporary and be sure to celebrate your wins.

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Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to know what you think. Brent

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