Opps! I did not mean to take this photo. It was a mistake. And this sort of thing happens a lot to me. I make LOADS of booboos when I am taking pictures. I'm sure it happens to other folks now and again too. So I thought that today I would do a post about the photos I normally delete.
And I do love a delete button. I delete with happiness, with no regret, with wild abandon. Since the advent of digital photography I have taken oodles more photographs since I know that all of my mistakes are my own dirty little secrets. In the "before" time, anyone who dared take photographs had to drop the roll off at either a photomat sort of place or the camera center of the local Walgreens to be developed. The person developing the photos was, therefore, privy to all of your pictures. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It was kind of embarrassing sometimes to pick up my photos. There I would be, beaming with excitement and behind the counter was the smirking face of the person who already knows what I'm going to find. When I opened the envelope I would try to school my face into a non-expression so counter person didn't see my disappointment. It was a thing. Basically if you were a crappy photographer, at least one other person knew about it. Which sucked.
Now when I return home from taking pictures, the very first thing I do is load them onto my computer and sort through. Before I do any editing, I delete. I go through the enter gallery of new shots, hitting that delete button as if it were slot machine and I was about to hit the jackpot. Normally NOBODY but me sees the bad ones.
And knowing this about myself, I think that some nerve going on facebook bragging about various photography awards and blah de blah. Especially since those same people who voted for me to get an award for this photo: (for example)
Did not see the other five zillion horrible attempts to get this precise shot. And I promise you, that is only a small exaggeration. This time, instead of automatically deleting the lousy pictures, I thought I would share them with you. Lucky you. (Not)
As many photo ops as there are out there, there are as many reasons to get a poor shot. Sadly, most of it is operator error. But not always!
Sometimes the problem lays entirely with the subject matter. Wild animals for instance have zero sense of responsibility when it comes to photography. They will not just stand their obediently and pose for me. What's wrong with them? Instead I get pictures like these. I call these the "half a bird" shots
In each of these instances, the bird was perfectly in frame and then as I am pressing the button, boom, they tip their head or hop up to another branch or just move slightly out of square. Dang!
Sometimes they disappear altogether
I solemnly swear to you that when I began taking this photo, there was a bird standing right in the center of the vee of this tree. It would have been a terrific picture. But Oh well.
Birds are famous for turning their backs on me. I have way way way too many photos of bird butt. And No Thank You Very Much Please. Nobody wants to see that
Sometimes the birds don't move completely out of frame. Nope, sometimes they just move. They wiggle, they twitch, they ruffle their feathers and if I don't already have the setting on sport (which will sometimes accommodate movement) I have missed that shot. Occasionally the wind moves something in front of the subject too. Like pine sprills. And that's fun too. Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.
To be absolutely fair, sometimes it's not the bird moving. Sometimes, it's me. It can be really hard to hold completely still for what feels like a eternity, waiting for the perfect moment for a shot. And the funny part is that I think I am rock solid steady as I'm standing there getting a crick in my neck waiting for "The Shot" to present itself and I'm totally not. Yup, sometimes the blur is totally my bad. Like here:
The funniest part (to me anyway) is that it doesn't even have to be a bird photo that comes out blurry. It could be something far more stationary. Like a flower. How on earth does anyone get a blurry photo of a flower? Yup, the fault here is completely on me and I'm not absolutely certain how screwed it up.
It even happened this week with a dragonfly that was holding absolutely completely totally still on a tall blade of grass. I swear to you that there is a dragonfly in this photo
I actually know what I did wrong that time. I didn't set the focus properly on this one. And sometimes it's really tricky. When there is a lot of 'stuff' around a subject, the camera gets confused about what to zero in on. In the above case, it selected a bit of greenery behind the dragonfly. Yeah I really have to get better at that sort of thing. It happened here with these flowers too
It's not even a horrible picture, it's more a "what the heck is this supposed to be a picture of ?" Yeah. Sorry, I don't know.
It's bad photo but the lighting was pretty, I'll give it that. Lighting is absolutely essential to a good shot. And it can be tricky. There are rules of course, but sometimes the rules are wrong. I've taken plenty of shots into the sun that came out great. But then of course there are the other times when it absolutely did not. These have too much sun flare and are way too washed out! What was I thinking?
Not enough light is just as bad. I kind of like an occasional moody Sillouhette Shot but after awhile, it's very ho hum. Normally all of these photos would have been long gone by now to deleted photo heaven.
There are just so very many ways to go wrong. But the final one, regarding wildlife photography anyway, that I will mention here is trying to take a photo of a creature that is just camera shy. This guy simply did not want his picture taken but he was comfortable where he was and opted to not fly to another tree. His answer, obviously, was to just hide his head.
I was suppose to the wildlife we are trying to capture on film, we are the unwelcome, unwanted, rude, papparazzi. And it's funny because Joy and I always keep a respectful distance and never attempt to interact with these critters. I suppose we believed that we were doing the right thing. Walking quietly, sticking to the trails, strictly "pack in in pack it out" photographer/hikers. We never so much as pick a flower. But I imagine that to them, just being there is an intrusion. So I guess an apology is overdue. We always remember to say, "Thank you" after we've gotten the shot (honest, we actually do that). But it never, until now, dawned on me to apologize for interrupting their lives.
I'm not sure how to balance that out. I guess I could offer to allow them to whip out their little cameras and I will hold still while they take endless photos of me? Hmmmm. Maybe it requires a little more thought.
So anyway, that's it for now. The shots I normally would have deleted from our photo safari earlier this week are now here for you to giggle at. And now if you will excuse me, I have a date with a delete button.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.