Nature and wildlife is a notoriously difficult genre of photography. Unlike portraits or studio photography where you can control almost all the factors affecting the image, nature and to a lesser extent, landscape photography are much more unpredictable so more often than not, you have to work with what you're given and roll with the punches.
I'm not here to moan or make excuses. Overall, I count myself very fortunate to be able to spend time outside with frequent opportunities to witness the things in nature that get my pulse racing! The rub is that when you do this sort of thing a lot - when you set yourself goals during these times - and more often than not that goal is not achieved, it's easy to get disheartened. A weak analogy might be training for the 100 metres sprint and coming second or third in 90% of the races.
Over the last few weeks, I've been using my time in the field to photograph badgers. Last year, I belatedly found a really exciting location but by the time I had discovered it I only had a window of a few days to do photography. This year I've been much more attentive and I've been visiting the site whenever the weather gives me reason to do so but making the images that I have been dreaming about for 12 months has so far eluded me.
That's really the point of this post - for every victory or success in this pastime/hobby/career/whatever, there are many, many more failures. This can quickly add up and can then leads to all sorts of stupid and irrational thoughts - not to mention the dreaded comparison to other photographers who seems to be producing images at will. Of course, it's all just in my head.
The slim return for the effort put into photographing nature is an aspect I've been aware of and understood from my very first forays into the genre but sometimes when the downs seem to outnumber the ups despite all the planning, anticipation and graft it's useful just to take stock and regroup but also to be granted a bit of space to put things in context - like on this blog.