Well, my secret - which I gladly share with you although I don't think you need it - is: Dame Fortune, good luck, is my only secret! I like very much to shoot pictures when I'm out on excursions (but it's only during the past 3-4 years that I've been carrying a cam with me). And I do shoot quite a lot of pictures, some of which look OK when first viewing them in the cam's preview. And I always feel excited and curious before downloading them to scrutinize them in my picture-browser back home but always get rather disappointed from the results (my disillusion increasing in proportion to the energy I've put into it): only very few of them are acceptable even for my private projects, and of those still fewer are OK to upload on TN for example. Well, I do understand the basics of photography but have to repeat and rehearse the same fundamentals over and over again but still like to "play" with various alternatives, hoping for better pictures every time. But the technical vocabulary remains just tech argot to me. I use the cam settings and parameters a little by chance, trying this and that and various combinations - and sometimes it works thanks to Dame Fortune! - but most often not. And till next time I will have forgotten what I did before and have to start the process all over again... On the other hand, that's what keeps a born optimist going I guess: next time I will get those really good shots... (I'm wavering between getting a dslr - but think that would be a wasted investment - or else spend less time and energy in photography).
I'm glad you like my pictures and find them interesting, but objectively they are not that marvellous; you need only consider the attention they get to understand that this impression is not shared by the general public. I accept how my pictures are rated and don't have any illusions as to their intrinsic phototechnical qualities, or only sometimes in relation to other uploads of rather dubious quality/value that still go on collecting points. But I guess we have to accept the fact that the TN smileys will remain a crazy, self-destructive and counterproductive rating system (without any consideration of note writing).
Wish you a very Happy Easter!
Sorry for this long answer and that I could not formulate it in acceptable French (or German).
Trametes gibbosa - "Lumpy Bracket" (10)