There is an old story about a kid who was working on a science project. The project was to create all these information cards about different birds. He began by putting the name of each bird on a card and then was going to go back and fill in all the information. The boy was sitting around the kitchen table with all these cards lying around to be filled out. At that point he made the comment “how in the world am I going to get all these cards filled out”? The father looked down at his son and said “just take it bird by bird”.
If you are just getting into photography you can feel a lot like that little boy in the story. There is so much to learn about composition, gear, art, light (natural and artificial), printing, editing and many other aspects. This can seem overwhelming. My recommendation is to pick one subject at a time and focus on just that one until you get a good grip. For example: I struggled with “masking” in Photoshop for a long time until I sat down and just focused on that one aspect over and over. Once I understood it I moved on to another difficult issue.
Since pixels are free grab your camera and head out to work on panning, lighting or composition. So what if you don’t return with award winning photographs (that is the beauty of the delete button)… You will have gained invaluable knowledge so that when a scene does present itself you can be right there on top of it without having to stumble over the technical details.
So, sling your camera around your neck and take it bird by bird.