I am still going through my 700+ scans of the slides I sent into Scan Cafe and have found lots of images I had completely forgotten about that I still like. I don’t really, really like them but I like them none the less. The reason I don’t really, really like them is because every one of them has a flaw that I see whenever one pops up on my screen. Some have compositional flaws- too tight a composition, distracting stuff on the edges, bad merges, not great background; some have technical flaws- focus is off, depth of field is either too much or too little, viewing perspective is wrong; some just need to be a bit better- light isn’t great, subject could be better, foreground could’ve been better, should’ve gotten closer. They’re nice but I am not taking any to the prom if you know what I mean.
Looking at these old friends does make me think of a few things. First, what am I going to do with the many thousand of slides that I didn’t select to be scanned? That ceremonial pyre is sounding better and better all the time. Second, why haven’t I gone to any of these places and reshot them? Every one of these images is at least 15 years old, some or more than 20 years old. With the equipment and the knowledge I have now I could get some really nice images, prom worthy images, if I went back and reshot them. Plus, it would be great fun. The circumstances would have to be the same- some of these images represent years of going to the same place and finally getting a great situation- but that’s okay. I now have the time to pick and choose and go to just the best places at the best times to try to get the best shots. So why don’t I?
Perhaps it is complacency. Okay, it is certainly complacency. Shame on me! I got into photography for the joy of taking pictures- we all did. It developed into a job but I always tried to keep joy and necessity balanced when it came to taking pictures. I don’t think it is balanced any more. Over the last 10 years I have repeated said to myself “been there, done that.” How about you? Have you said that to yourself? Shame on us! That’s complacency and we have let it crowd out our joy of going out to amazing places and the thrill of taking pictures. We need to stop this behavior right now.
Here is what I am going to do: every year I am going to take a trip to revisit some of the places I used to love to go and photograph just for the fun of it. I will not have any projects in mind, I won’t be following a shooting list, I’ll just be out taking pictures at my old favorite haunts. Four or five days of good photography, good food (I hope) and good fun. Try this yourself. Doesn’t have to be any place exotic (but what a great excuse to go somewhere exciting again!) just someplace you used to love to go and haven’t gone in a long while. Yes things will be different but that’s okay, we are jut having fun. We can go back to our camera clubs and projects and shooting lists when we get home.
Are you with me?