Doing what matters
When I was about 11 or 12, I had a rock collection. A few dozen fossils and geological oddities that I had picked up here and there. They all fit in a single glass case – I could see them all at once, and instantly knew the significance of every rock. However, I was also a frequent visitor to natural history museums. I noticed, in those museums, that the professional geologists and paleontologists had a catalog system that helped them keep things straight, and also see patterns which generated deeper insights. With this catalog system came labels on the samples.
So, one day, I typed up (on a manual typewriter!) a few dozen labels for my own personal catalog system. As I recall, each label contained the date I collected each sample, its original location, and a sequence number. I carefully glued these labels to each of my specimens, and then stepped back to admire my creation. Look what I had! It was a… a… a… a rock collection. With labels stuck to it. It was not a museum, or anything of scientific value. The labels did not actually add to my enjoyment of my collection. In fact, they merely marred the appearance of the rocks. So, I eventually removed the labels – mostly. They left little gluey spots where I had made the attempt.
What did I learn from this? I learned - build something great, first. If what you have to start with is not great, no amount of image polishing will make it great.