In the spirit of the "Your Worst Photos" theme, I proudly present pictures from when I started shooting just over a year ago...

Bad Selective Color? Check.

A Whole Mess of Bad

Horrible composition? Double check.

A Whole Mess of BadS

A Whole Mess of BadS

Screwed up the exposure AND the composition? I've done that.

A Whole Mess of BadS

Horribly off-level and with people in the way? You had better believe it.

A Whole Mess of BadS

But what did I learn?

It's ok to take bad pictures. Everyone does. It's ok to screw up an edit, that happens, too. It's easy to confuse emotion of the moment with an actually good picture. Don't show off everything you've edited. Only select your best, and when you've got a collection of photos available for people to see, be sure to go through it every once in awhile and clear out the clutter.

(I've just recently cleaned out my Flickr page, and chances are I'll be cleaning it out more in the future)

That being said, use the number of views or the comments you receive as an insight into how you can improve. Don't take your friend's or family's critiques very seriously if they always fawn over the pictures you post. Chances are they don't want to hurt your feelings, even if you are VERY good. They also will be less likely to tell you that your highlights are a little blown out or that you could have a better photo if you crop it down just a little bit.

You're learning to take photos. You're learning about your camera. You're learning what makes a particular photo ok, good, or great. If you're not, you're not really dedicated to what you're doing and should trade in your DSLR for a cheapy point-and-shoot and completely delete your "Photography" site.

Not everyone has the natural knack for photography. Some people have to work at it more than others, but if you've got the drive to achieve the shots you've dreamed of, then strive to better yourself in the art form you've chosen.