The Dross Before the Gold

Compliments sure feel good, don’t they? I never dreamed they were in my future as I snapped photos right and left during our vacation to the Tetons and Yellowstone, but that’s exactly what happened after I started sharing my photos.

Much to my delight, several people commented about what great pictures I took while on our trip. What fun to hear people say things like “Beautiful shot” or “What wonderful photos” after they’d looked at my albums on Facebook, Snapfish, or here on the blog.

What they didn’t realize is that I took lots of bad shots in order to achieve the glory shots. They didn’t see the dross that preceded the gold.

Believe it or not, I downloaded over 750 photos to my computer after we returned home. Plus, I’d already deleted the without-a-doubt duds from my camera during the trip. After getting a chance to examine my haul more closely at home, I sent several more shots to my recycle bin. Even with that, I shared only a portion publicly. Bye, bye dross. Hello, gold.

Maybe as I learn more about my camera and put in more practice time, I won’t have quite as much dross to sift through during my next photo-athon. But you know what? I don’t mind the dross so much if I end up with some gold to enjoy.

Photography’s not much different from writing—or any other skill or art for that matter—in the dross and gold department. I write lots of so-so sentences before I finally get some good stuff. I delete and revise certain words or phrases as I type and get rid of others after closer examination. Then I select just the right ones to share with the world. Bye, bye dross. Hello, gold.

Looks like the old saying “practice makes perfect” proves true once again. It’s up to us to decide if we’re willing to put in the practice to perfect the skill, to deal in some dross in order to gain the gold.

Is it worth it? My spirit says “yes!” Does yours say the same? Okay then—what are we waiting for? Let’s go for the gold!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” Colossians 3:23

In what skill are you working to achieve gold?

*Flickr photo by photosteve101


  1. Photography would be one of the areas I am working on as well. I love to scrapbook and of course I then need great “gold” pictures. I am learning as I go too.

  2. I do the same thing. Sometimes I take five or six hundred shots and then have to go through them and send several to the recycle bin. I am still learning how to use all of the features on my camera.

  3. I’m certainly hoping that “practice makes perfect” and that just doing it is the best way down the path to achieving a new skill. I’m not sure I’ve found as much gold as you have yet, though :).

  4. Hey gals, it’s fun to hear from others who are working on their photography skills, too. And Cheltz, welcome to my blog!

  5. Great post, Cheryl… always trying to improve on our work. The more we do it, the better we get.

    Keep to it.


  6. Thanks, Elaine! Always appreciate your encouragement so much.

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