What’s the best way to advance faster as a photographer? It’s probably not buying a new camera or even spending more time on your photography.

The most important piece of equipment you travel with is not your camera, it’s your brain. And unfortunately, it comes from the factory with a few quirks called cognitive biases. Cognitive biases are errors in reasoning — and everyone has them.

You might not realize just how much they affect your travel and landscape photography. Cognitive biases — like the sunk cost fallacy, planning fallacy, or survivorship bias — can cause you to:

  • Waste time, money, and effort.
  • Miss out on better opportunities.
  • Advance more slowly as a photographer.
  • Make the same mistakes over and over again.

Thus, equipping yourself to identify and confront cognitive biases will allow you to:

  • Spend your time, money, and effort strategically.
  • Discover incredible landscapes sooner.
  • Grow exponentially faster than your peers.
  • Learn more with less time.

While preparing for a one-year travel sabbatical, I’ve had to confront my own cognitive biases, and what started as a dream to travel full-time ended up positively impacting every area of my life: photography, travel, lifestyle, relationships, and teaching.

Can you pinpoint a time when a cognitive bias caused you to miss out in your photography? Did you beat it the next time?

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