Having a membership to the local Zoo is a must for any photographer, it's great value and a varied world of diverse plants and animals to capture. Still loving my Olympus camera and the additional lenses I used, I had a Sigma 24mm 1.4 lens. It was a prime lens and looked great even tho the Olympus camera had a cropped sensor. I also had a Ziess 40-150mm 3.5 lens as well. It was an okay lens and far better than the lens that came with the camera, I was able to get to grips with the settings on that one, but with this I was able to get past the wires on cages by zooming through and watch then disappear..!
I was happy with the picture's I was getting, but I knew I could make them look a lot better with proper editing software. The usual routine for me was to encode them into a jpeg using a small program. I still kept the RAW files thankfully, I think this really helped me with creating a picture with composition in order to create an interesting picture rather than relying on editing to make the picture.
In 2012 early of that year, I had saved up my money and purchased my first and only copy to date of Photoshop. Version CS5. I had used a friends CS3 once a few years before so I wasn't a stranger to the interface. But CS5 performed slowly on the computer I had and was forced to upgrade when I lost CS3 when it crashed and never recovered. Luckily I never had lost any photo's. But now I was able to process my RAW files before saving to a jpg file. I still use CS5 today to process my photo's, I have got so used to the controls and presets I've created, that I feel there's no real reason to upgrade and get used to a new interface or control system. If it ain't broke do not fix it, just refine it. At first I got real Photoshop happy and every photo got a certain treatment and I soon became blinded by composition and thought to myself sometime, it's alright I know I can make that brighter or darker on Photoshop when taking pictures. Effectively I became very lazy with composing a picture. I have had a real large wake up call and gone back to composing my frame as I did when I first learnt photography. That's the best thing about photography, it's a creative medium and so therefore can be anything you want it to be, just like a painting or any other creative process. There's no right way or wrong way, there's YOUR way.