Response to Walter M's note
Sorry I took so long to respond, but I am away a lot. You are right, nature does not hold still while you compose, set your aperture, etc. And thanks for the basics of aperture, shutter speed, etc. They help me understand why the depth of field is what it is, why movement is stopped or not stopped, and such like. I appreciated your feedback muchly, especially in letting me know it was probably a bullfrog. I was a bio major in college, but tended more toward molecular biology than field biology--a choice I now regret. I now like to know as much about nature as I can find.
The reason I am responding is your note is your statement, "I don't feel I am qualified to judge the work of others" because you have not had any formal training in photography. I disagree.
I don't think any of us on this list "judge" others. As you have pointed out, one person's masterpiece is another person's POJ (Piece Of Junk). Each of us has an opinion of what we like and don't like and none of us are wrong about our tastes, although our tastes, especially in art, may differ one from another.
I suspect that formal training helps many people understand what is going on in art, but I feel it has a couple of drawbacks: it sometimes (hopefully rarely) removes the "awe" factor, and different approaches cannot always be fully appreciated because they don't fit established thought patterns.
So I would urge you to submit your thoughts about the pictures that Andy so painstakingly presents for our discernment each week. your thoughts cannot be wrong, because they are your thoughts. The author of the photograph doesn't have to agree with your thoughts, and in the ensuing dialogue, new insights may be gained, perhaps on both sides. You even gain a lot of insight by just forming thoughts into sentences. I certainly wish I could do it more often, but as I said at the outset, I am away a lot.
So I would encourage you to submit your thoughts about photos. They are not judgments, they are only your thoughts about what you see and what you feel. One photograph may elicit several different opinions, based on the commentators' training (or lack thereof), their biases, their life experiences, etc. Your opinions are worth as much as anyone else's opinion.
Hope to read your photographic thoughts soon.