Glen Goffin Photography

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

81 The Little Things Count (or Death by a Thousand Papercuts)

Little Girl Drinking
WARNING - This post may cause skilled photographers to begin twitching, trembling and erupting with sharp outbursts of "I can't take one more crappy amateur photograph or I'll snap!".

For the rest of you (Hi Mom), did you immediately spot my rookie mistakes in this "Where is Waldo?" of photographic wrong-doings?  Of course my excuse is that it was cold and we were in a rush and I just wanted to snap this one last shot before running back to the car and turning on the heater.  That leads me to ...

Mistake #1 - Never compromise just because you're in a hurry ... or you're cold.

If it is worth pressing the shutter, it's worth extra seconds to compose.  Hey, at least if you skip the shot you won't have a forever reminder of your bone-headed mistakes.

There may be those who would argue that we should never ignore that little voice that says "take this one".  But isn't that the same voice that Mom and Pop Schwartzfuss hear when they click away on their Canon ELPH?  Isn't a measure of our artistry our ability to edit ... to say no?  Obviously you can see above that it isn't one of mine.

Mistake #2 - Know when to keep things sharp.  

I love bokeh.  I love a nice sharp foreground framed by a beautiful creamy background.  Who doesn't?  But there are shots where our eyes want to see EVERYTHING.  This is one of those.  This deserved to be shot with a tripod at f16.  I didn't have a tripod but I should've found a way to brace the camera.

Mistake #3 - You can always crop but you can't get back what you left out.

Now in post, I really want to see the ends of those roots and a titch more trunk.

Mistake #4 - Watch your shadows!

Ok, you spotted this right away.  I know, I know.  Hi, camera strap and elbow!  Let me memorialize you forever on top of this otherwise beautiful picture.

Late sun makes long shadows.  Long shadows sneak into my shots like ... well ... sneaky things.  If the light is good you better assume there are little shadow monsters lurking in your picture somewhere.  Two more seconds of composing and I would have spotted that.

Mistake #5 - Skies aren't white

If you can help it, try to keep something interesting in your sky.  In this case, I could have.  I could have kept the shadow detail and still underexposed another stop.  This was a candidate for HDR techniques.
OSJ Red Fence

Some other equally sloppy shots were taken in a much too hurried manner that fateful evening.  All of them suffering from these same woeful maladies.

Here is another -



Woody said...

Like the pros have never done this before!

Have you looked at BlackRapid straps?

Glen Goffin said...

I think there are a million of these on the road to becoming a pro! Thanks for the tip on the straps, Wayne :) I'll check them out.

Ángel said...

Some wonderful photos, I like force and the point of view by those roots. Incredible.

Warm greetings

Debra Trean said...

I like very much...beautiful love the colors...

alterdom said...

Hello Glen,

This tree is extraordinary
he failed
and it seems rooted!
Wonderful pictures!!