I have been asked in the past why there are not any of my own photographs hanging in the house. There are photographs framed and ready to hang. First and foremost, I can almost always see how I would have shot the image better. Perhaps less than 5 of the framed images can pass this initial test of mine. Second and most importantly, I have too much other artwork sitting in flat files that I intend to frame and hang some day.
These conversations have me considering how I take and process photographs also. If we subscribe to the general rule of thumb that 1 in 10 shots taken are good/great, I am not taking enough shots. The approach I take when out shooting is to take 1, maybe 2, shots of each composition and then find more compositions. With this in mind, you would think I am composing shots at a rapid pace. I am not. I probably spend more time than most photographers composing, but take less exposures than most. Looking at this photograph above, I could have shot with some options such as an ND filter to create a long exposure to remove the rolling water causing some blurriness. Photographers taking upwards of 50 exposures of the exact same waterfall composition is not unheard of, but that gives then many options to choose from in post production.
I can also say the same about the post production of this photograph. I had worked on this previously a few weeks ago – primarily experimenting with contrast, monochrome, and cropping. Nothing turned out how I visualized while shooting. Yet, I come back today, start over and make very minor adjustments and I am done in less than 5 minutes.
Maybe the takeaway from this photograph today is to take more shots of each composition (and experiment with options in the field). When you are in post processing and the image just does not come out how you want it to, leave it and come back at a later time.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 55mm, f/8, 1/4 sec
Tahoma (CA), Rock, Sand Lines, Underwater. Sugar Pine Point State Park, Tahoma, CA. November 09, 2016. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.