Sunday, June 20, 2010

Funny Elephant Photos, Great Ideas and The Best Use of Your Time

A Great Idea, Funny Animal Pictures, and an iPhone App.

At 5:00 in the morning I had this great idea for an iPhone app. I got up early, all excited, got to the studio, and started researching apps to see what the competition was. Without going into to many details, it was a way to share my Animal Antics (funny animal pictures) images with people over their phones. My excitement at producing an app got the old idea adrenaline flowing. My next idea was for an e-book.and hey, I could update my old Photoshop book (Adobe Master Class: Photoshop Compositing with John Lund) and offer it as an e-book on my site as well.

Money, Time and Energy

I called my brother, who is my web master. He was a tad skeptical about the wisdom of pursuing these ideas. As the day wore on my own excitement began to ebb. Creating my app was going to cost money, suck up time and energy, and divert me from my true passion of creating images.  The same would be true of updating the Photoshop book and or creating any new e-books. I began to mull over how so many companies have gone down the tubes by diverging from their core competency.

Crazy Elephant Images and Winning The Lottery
As my momentum began to slow I switched gears and got started creating an image I have been planning to do for a while.another of my crazy elephant images. As I got into the flow I knew that my app idea wasn't going to happen, at least not anytime soon. Creating an app, on the surface sounds exciting and exotic.but I know from experience that any new endeavor ends up being far more difficult than one first perceives it to be. The chance of the app hitting big time is probably right up there with winning the lottery.

Taking Risks, Stretching and Trying New Things

I am certainly not saying people shouldn't take risks, stretch themselves and try new things. I actually advocate that. In fact, getting involved with Photoshop, when most photographers were hostile towards it, was the best career move I ever made. Writing my Photoshop book was a great experience and also well worth it. Jumping into the Internet and SEO has been brutally time-consuming, but I do believe will prove to have been a valuable move when all is said and done.

Making Images and the Best Use of My Time

But it is also really important to recognize that sometimes the excitement of a new idea can lead you in directions that aren't really directions you want to go in. As my new image transitioned through the stage of 'Oh no, this will never work", to "hey, this is starting to come together", I was reminded that what I really want to do is make images and that the best use of my time is to make those images and see that they get to market. For some of you creating apps and e-books and so forth is the right thing to do. When I am in the flow and creating an image, whether it is behind the camera or behind the computer, I know that I am doing the right thing for me, making the best possible use of my time. What is the best use of your time?

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