Yesterday was the first day that I didn’t HAVE to take my camera out and find something to photograph. At first it felt weird, almost rebellious, and then I took a certain satisfaction in it. “Look at that beautiful pink sky,” I thought to myself looking through the living room window at sunset, “and I can stand here and enjoy it! No need to panic over getting the camera set before losing the light!” ; )
So now that I’ve finished, I wanted to take one post and self-indulgently reflect on the past year.
Was it worth it? The time and the aggravation? Oh yes, a thousand times yes! The lessons learned were immense and varied. Technically I think I’m a much better photographer after taking over 5000 pictures this year. Yeah, that’s a lot. But as Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Your first 10,000 photos are your worst.”
I also learned a lot about not letting perfection be the enemy of the good. Life continues on and life at times gets busy and demanding and other responsibilities can be very jealous of time spent on things that seem superfluous. But in the end diligence, patience and compromise got me through.
The compromises were hard. And they got harder. As I felt myself improving, I had a harder and harder time posting the shots that I really thought weren’t that good. Plenty of sessions ended in frustration as I felt pressured by time and the project to just pick a shot and post it.
There are plenty of photos in my stream that I would love to go back and re-do. Nothing stands out, in my mind, as much as the grilled cheese shot. My excuse is that it was the first week into the project, and I really had no focus or direction. Yeah, fine, but a shot of a cut up grilled cheese sandwich on the baby’s high chair tray? Really? I thought the contrasting orange and blue colors would carry the shot. Well they don’t and that shot haunts me! ; )
So what now? I don’t know. I really would like to focus on portraits of my kids — my library of pictures of them has suffered a little bit as I focused more on pictures that I would be able to post publicly.
Right now, though, I am really enjoying the feeling of looking at something beautiful and NOT feeling pressured to run and grab a camera. : )