(I’m about to write an entire blog post about poor photography.)
I’ve been making pictures on and off since I was a kid. My computer contains 54,155 images in 1,071 folders. Several years ago I scanned in 7,000 slides that had accumulated over the years. And, of course, I’ve saved the images I made since digital came along. All nicely categorized and indexed: Country, date, key words, captions.
Good work. Except that…I like VERY FEW of them.
What was I thinking? Actually, there is an answer to that question. I was thinking “Let’s take a picture in front of this fountain.” Or maybe it was “Look this way so the sun is on your face. Don’t squint.” Or maybe The Bride said, “Take a picture — we may never be here again.”
Here is what I wasn’t thinking:
“Big aperture will blur that busy background.”
“Where’s my tripod?”
I just didn’t know.
And, as a result of not thinking those thoughts, most of my older pictures are poorly composed, busy, common, and suffer from soft focus. I’m abusive to myself for wasting so many photo opportunities by making less than good photographs. The Bride was right: We’ll never go back to most of those wonderful places.
But there is a positive side. Several, actually. For starters, most other people are not as tough on me as I am.
Secondly, I have learned from those mistakes. Admittedly, it has taken many years — and I’m still learning!
And last, all of those old images are (to me and The Bride) a source of history and fond recollection. Being able to travel through the pictures made on our honeymoon and while our children were small is priceless — even if the images don’t pass my own quality tests.