Hello everyone! I have been lurking for the last week. When I was in high school I took a couple photography classes (15 yrs ago). I have always had a passion for photography. Unfortunately I spent more time in the dark room and not enough time leaning the basics of the camera (f-stops, shutter speed, ect). I'm kicking myself for it now. When I was 16 I started a job as a photographer at a professional portrait studio. I shot portraits for 12 years. I learned a lot from that job, but again I learned more about posing and capturing that perfect expression then learning anything about the camera. We kept our cameras set at the same settings since it was in studio, we only metered and adjusted the lights as needed. I have had my share of cameras and lenses, om-1, om-2 and lenses up the wazoo, a handful of point and shoots, and now my pride and joy olympus E-510. All my friends and family say my pictures are wonderful.....but they are only friends and family. I see beyond what they see. I am no longer working as a portrait photographer. I am finding myself shooting more for fun and a few side jobs. I have shot a few weddings and some outdoor portraits. But that is not my passion. I love the artistic unique side of photography. I want the expression from other people to say "WOW, you shot that!?" I am soooo frustrated that I don't know camera knowledge more. I usually shoot in portrait mode. I want so badly to be able to shoot in manual but I just don't get it. I try and try and nothing turns out. I have a few books but I feel like I'm reading a different language. I see the shot I want but I can never capture it. I struggle with blurr, under/ over exposure. I'm not saying I don't ever get lucky, I might get a few good shots out of the million I take. I feel after so many years of trying, why am I not getting it. I keep telling myself not to give up, but then I question myself and ask "why do I even bother". I love photography. It has been my life for more then half my life. I look at other photographers work and say "why can't I do that". And don't even get me started on photoshop. This photographer is just an example. I do not want to be her, but she inspires me. I feel she shoots what I invision. (if that makes sense) http://www.rebekkagudleifs.com/ .....she's only been shooting since 2005! I'm not sure if this is even the place to put this. I just want to express my frustration with someone who would/might know where I'm coming from. Please move if needed.