What’s your excuse?
I can drive for hours on end in this weather and return home with a few photos. I’ll end up deleting almost all of them anyway or I can post them and then apologize for them not looking the way that I want.
Here’s something that I strongly believe in. If I have to make excuses for a photo, then as the kids say, fail. If it doesn’t meet your muster, delete it.
It’s difficult when you’re first starting out to be critical of the photos you take. If the horizon is level and all the tones are properly exposed, for most beginning photographers, that’s a positive.
Digital photography makes it many times easier to get to even an intermediate level than film photography. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot some more.
I’ve written a few times before about how I shoot and edit. If you were to see me before sunrise near the side of a road, one thing that I wouldn’t be doing is standing still. There is a very small window available to you to capture the very best light. I tend to shoot as many variations of that sunrise as I possibly can as quick as I can.
For a typical sunrise that might mean getting from ten to twenty four different looks. Into the sun. Away from the sun. Looking down. looking up. This foreground. That foreground.
I put the camera on the tripod, quickly compose, shoot and repeat. It goes very quickly and then it’s done. Over.
When I get home, I do a quick review and edit in the camera. During the first edit the obvious deletions are made. If the scene looks “wrong”, that usually means the composition doesn’t work for me, I delete the image. A few hours later, I go through the images in the camera a second time. I usually end up deleting even more photos. The ones that I might have been on the fence about are easier to decide about when you’ve gotten a little distance from shooting.
It’s now that I upload the remaining photos to my computer. As they upload, they preview. I write the numbers of the images that catch my eye and usually end up processing them. What works as a thumbnail on the camera back doesn’t always look good as a larger preview and the same thing goes for uploading to the computer.
I still process images from this edit and end up deleting even more. It’s kind of like using a finer and finer sieve. Each successive edit is more critical. The resulting photos are usually ones that end up going to agencies and from there the agencies do their own editing. Because I edit so tightly, eighty to ninety percent of what I usually submit is accepted.
No excuses. Only your best.
ps. I won’t be posting for a few days. It’s off to the mountains where the forecast is great for skiing but not so great for photography.