This past week we have been experimenting with our new digital camera.  Much of what I have learned has been from trial and error.  Unfortunately, I lost some really great pictures before I fully understood how the image editing software worked.  I realized that self education and studying something is not always a long drawn out process that takes a long time.  It can be as simple as checking the manual on how a single feature works, and then following the instructions.  To thrust oneself into hands on experimentation might seem like the quickest way to master something, but it all depends on the risks involved.  For example, you wouldn’t want to experiment with sky diving or something that could result in severe injury or death.  Perhaps if you were responsible for taking wedding photos, the risk of experimenting with a new camera and unfamiliar software would be very high too. 

Studying how to do something right can improve the results dramatically.  Reminds me of the joke about the owner of a chain saw complaining that the he could only cut a cord of wood in a week.  Although the salesman had promised huge improvements in productivity by using the saw.  The repairman started the saw to check it out, and the owner covered his ears in pain and said, “What’s that noise?”  With the rapid advances in technology we don’t want to be the poor chap hacking on a log not knowing that there is a powerful motor that spins the chain.