Posts Tagged ‘lessons learned’

Keep At It

1 November 2011

Dear J-

This is Halloween: laughter and a group of kids trooping up together to the doors and screaming out trick or treat with huge abandon. Repeat and rinse. All the exclaiming over costumes never got old, nor the proud crowing over some particular treats shared amongst friends. We were out for maybe an hour and a half and I spent the entire time with camera in hand and ended up with something like 500 shots, most of which were unusable because of blur or poor focus (I need to be less afraid of manual focus) but not so much blur. I wonder sometimes if investing in a 35/2 wouldn’t be a bad ideaas that would let me replace the huge, heavy zoom with a relatively light mild telephoto (on 4/3rds) instead.

In the cold light of morning though I wonder and worry about the photographs too much perhaps: did I try to sneak too many shots? Was I guilty of making the pictures too dark? Should I have set my white balance better instead of relying on imperfect memories? Noise and grain? I remind myself that it was more about the kids last night and capturing the spirit of the evening but then the paranoia starts to set in and I wonder if I should have spent more time showing how much the parents might have enjoyed it, or what they might say if they were more honest about the whole thing: maybe you should have … or why didn’t you …

In my mind I keep going over what I could have done and try to incorporate for next year: maybe if I prefocus and catch action at its peak rather than rely on the questionable ability to autofocus in dim light, but then I wonder about what I might be able to do if only I had such-and-such piece of equipment but honestly I don’t think there’s much more. It was honestly all I could do to manage one prime lens all evening: throw a zoom into that and I’d be all over the place with composition. I am glad I left the big lens at home — wouldn’t have been able to use it — and the year of shooting with the prime on the other camera has trained my eye pretty well at prime composition, at least with this focal length. We’ll get it next year, and I’m sure I’ll find something else to improve upon, but that’s why you keep shooting.