Before the UVA – VA Tech game last year I spent a couple hours racing all over grounds with my camera and tripod getting some shots before the tailgating started. This was towards the end of autumn and I knew I had to get a picture of this beautiful old tree that always ends the season with a spectacular deluge of yellow leaves. Much to my dismay, when I got there I found out that I couldn’t even fit the whole tree into the frame vertically with the lens I was using. However, it seems this couple had the same idea about getting a picture with this arboreal behemoth, and since they were posing for their own picture they stayed still long enough for my camera to fire off its three exposures.
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
Let’s hope that’s true. Around the spring of last year I downloaded Google’s Picasa software and started organizing the various folders of digital pictures on my computer. I soon realized that I had amassed over 10,000 images since getting my first digital camera in late 2003. A few of these I had already uploaded to Flickr, but it wasn’t until I had a system for sorting and tagging my files that I made a conscious effort to get the rest of my decent shots online. As I added more I began to fixate on the round number of 100 pictures; the “best” 1% of my work so far.
Does this mean I think it’s smooth sailing from now on? Hardly. First off, I haven’t even taken anywhere near 10,000 real photographs. Henri wasn’t talking about poorly composed snapshots of my friends at 3AM. Also, while I’d like to think that I’ve improved as a photographer in the past years, the learning process has encouraged me to experiment with different approaches and techniques that sometimes fail miserably. I believe both my best and worst photos are still ahead; hopefully you’ll see some of the former here in this blog.
All the images on my Flickr page were taken with “point and shoot” digital cameras and most of them came from my 3.2 megapixel Pentax, the limitations of which I’ve become acutely aware of when trying to crop images that were only 1600×1200 pixels to begin with. I expect that most of the pictures from now on will have been taken with my D90, and the majority will be in HDR as well. At a rate of two new images per week, I’m hoping to have at least another 100 pictures up by this time next year.
You can check out my full photostream by clicking the Flickr link in the sidebar. Here are some of the ones I like best:
Next up: Releasing my first HDR image into the (digital) wild