I had my first camera, a Nikon D40x, around February 2008 and I haven’t stopped taking photos since. Fast forward to three years and seven months later, I’ve upgraded a few things in my camera bag (including the bag itself) and more importantly, my point of view of what a photograph should be and how it should be taken. Then I remembered a quote I’ve read a few years ago that struck me right just about now.
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
And with that thought in my head, I suddenly realized I may have not met Mr. Cartier-Bresson’s, considered to be the father of modern photojournalism, requirement of 10,000 photos. That only means I still have a lot to learn about the craft.
Looking at this photo of old friends, taken sometime in 2008, I realized how bad my skills were, both at taking the photo and post-processing it. First off, I could have posed the guys more appropriately if I wanted them to parody a boy band, which was their idea. Second, I could have chosen the right settings to get a decent exposure that won’t clip the highlights of the sky. Third, I could have instructed them to move a little so the boat in the background won’t destroy my photo’s composition. Lastly, I could have post-processed this photo without them looking like human bananas in color.
Boy, that photo was bad.
And that brings us to now. I think it would be better if I consciously fix everything inside the frame before hitting the shutter. That means the composition hits the spot, the exposure is nailed right and the focus is accurate. It also means that I should know how to enhance it in post-processing without the final output becoming a visual hangover. All of that to avoid making mistakes like the photo above.
In contrast to my attempt to parody a boy band, I also found a photo I liked from my early days of photography.
It seems there’s hope after all.