Averaged over 5+ years I shoot about 200 images a day - I haven't updated that stat in the past 6 or 8 months, but it has to be consistent and around 200 still. In 5 years I've past a few hundred thousands shots and hundreds of outings. It is that persistence and repetition that makes more and more things second nature.
In 5 years I've now bought 5 bodies (d70s, d200, Fuji S5, D300 and D300s) and even more lenses but nothing huge until 2 years ago I got the 200-400mm f/4 VR lens.
The 200-400mm lens is pretty sweet and I've meant to do a review / write up, but Thom (ByThom) has one that is way more detailed than I could make and he's right on. Very good lens, struggle with converters and is weak at long range optically.
But with that and all of my other gear, I've always managed to take images with whatever I have that I like, that keep me going, motivated to learn and keep trying.
This is with a D70s and 70-300 G lens, with one off camera flash, through glass at the zoo.
With lots of time and work, and gear, I broke down and got a 500mm f/4 lens. It should be a big leap gear wise / optically over the 200-400mm. I plan to hand hold it often - and have been actually working out in an effort to hand hold the 200-400mm longer and with less strain, and the 500 is just a pound or so heavier. (If I end up carrying both around at the same time I might just need a formal Gym Membership).
Skimmers at Sunrise - Fuji S5 w/ 200-400mm f/4 vr:
Always want more, and don't blame the gear - every setup is capable of producing amazing images be it a Holga or a Hasselblad.
Probably one of the biggest things I've focused on in the past 12 or 13 months is learning to see and understand light, sunrise and sunset, and how that is key to images that aren't "Normal" or "Average". The good light is not at mid-day when it might be easiest to head out for some shooting.... Sunrise or bust.
Original content posted at http://natureandwildlifephotography.blogspot.com/Nikographer.com / Jon