The "God" Shot, Deception Pass Bridge

When I was diving into the world of espresso I stumbled on the CoffeeGeek website and the phrase “God Shot”. I’m paraphrasing quite a bit, but a “God Shot” of espresso is just OMG perfect. And when you’re first starting out brewing your own espresso it’s the unattainable goal that seems impossible to reach.

But after considerable practice, and loads of shots poured down the drain, you start to reach the Holy Land. And you start producing good, and dare you say, even great espresso. And after spending some time in this reverend place of espresso bliss, and I’m taking years not months or days, a person might be forgiven for a bold exclamation of the sort:

I’m probably pulling out “God Shots” at a 75% rate

And there might be quite a bit of back and forth in the online forums talking about technique and success with congratulations etc. Until someone “Poops in the Punch Bowl” with a simple statement:

I remember When Most of my Shots were “God Shots”.
That was a great time.

And in one simple statement we are shown the different between enthusiasm and experience.

And none of this has anything to do with photography, or maybe it does. It seems, for me, that at every stage of technical and artistic improvement there is a plateau that is high enough to clearly see the failings of past work and let my enthusiasm lead me to believe that I have finally “arrived” at photographic nirvana.

But the endless series of plateaus tells a very different story. It tells me that we photographers are all shooting and learning in our own way at our own pace. There is no expert or right way to photograph. No place where you arrive and become great. As with many things it’s all about the journey.

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