Oh! House of Heroes fans, I almost forgot this picture from the Spring Arbor show! I was so disappointed when I pulled this one up on my computer. The “awesomeness” potential in this shot breaks my heart! If I had done a few things differently, this might have been my favorite of the night.
I had stepped back away from the show to try to get some shots of the whole band, the whole stage. This required adjusting exposure settings (because I was much further from the light source, photography stuff, blah, blah). Well, when I went back to the front of the crowd, this moment happened.
That’s all it was, a brief moment. And…guess what…I failed to adjust settings before shooting! No time to adjust settings and shoot again. I tried. A few buttons pushed and dials twirled and it was too late. On Stage, rockers don’t hold still…well…ever. I could have probably done something with it if there was any detail in both faces. But, alas, Jared is faceless. Still, looking at it now makes me shake my head. Ugh!
Here was my solution: Make it about the guitars.
Of course, I edited this one. It was ridiculous how much time I spent correcting wacky color and touching up light and dark spots. I don’t know if the end product was worth the time I spent on it. But, eh, maybe it’s not half bad?
Here’s a bit of horrible irony: all of those shots of the stage that caused me to change camera settings? Yeah, they’re on the digital equivalent of the cutting room floor.
Well…what can I learn from this?
First, be conscious of camera settings before shooting. Don’t get so caught up in the moment that you forget what you’re doing! An opportunity for a fantastic shot might present itself, but it may only last for a few seconds…maybe less! Be ready!
Second, even though the rough photo looks useless or mediocre, there might be some editing or cropping that can be done to improve it or hide the flaws that you notice. Someone else might not notice them at all! However, the best photos are ones that don’t need a lot of digital work to fix problems. I would rather use editing programs to enhance and already great photo, instead of trying to resurrect one that may never have the breath of wonder in it.
Last, try to be more objective. If it helps, maybe try to look at you own work like someone else took the photo. This photo didn’t necessarily end up my favorite from the night, but it’s not a total loss. I think about 50% of the time I throw out a photo because I compare it to the experience. Perhaps I was trying to catch a certain emotion, or I had a specific vision for that shot. When I look at the rough photo I’m disappointed because my expectations are too high or it doesn’t live up to a certain vision. If I would look at other photos more objectively, I wonder how many of them I would develop. I am, after all, my own worst critic. It’s the curse of the perfectionist.