The (not so) Perfect Shot

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I love photographs, pictures of older faces that I like to call “character shots,” interesting buildings and architecture. Breathtaking images of landscapes, animals, and situations in black and white, or color. So many bloggers take pictures on a daily base, and I wanted to be one them.

I bought me a digital camera but didn’t take pictures right away. I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have any photo software. Everything is photoshopped these days, I learned that the hard way when I asked a blogger to work on some of my pictures. I had waited patiently to get the “perfect” shot, of a baby bird’s first fly;  I wanted to show them on my blog.

Back then I thought it was necessary to put a name on the picture, and so I asked a blogging friend if she could add my name to it.

 

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The “perfect” shot

 

 

She sent me the pictures back, told me that she also had FIXED the photos for me. Turns out my perfect shot, was not so perfect in her eyes. The picture was more “edgy” when I got it back, the colors were crisper. They appeared cold to me, not warm -if that makes any sense.

 

Photoshopped

I chose warm colors to paint the gourd.

 

 

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Original picture of the gourd

When it came back it wasn’t my gourd anymore.

 

 

 

Photoshopped coloring

 

 

Clearly, she was right. I am not a photographer, I don’t know what I am doing. I thanked her politely, never told her that I didn’t like the “fixed” pictures. If nature looks perfect, why fix it? But almost everybody seems to do it, so I decided I had to learn it as well.

I played around with some of the free photo software, and I have to admit, it’s a fun toy to have. Still, most of the time I liked the originals better.

I started to follow more photography blogs and some bloggers who gave photo challenges on a daily base. “Take a picture of your left foot,” and now, “Please take a photo of your shoe.” Pictures of flowers on a daily base, even color challenges, that I liked to call, “I spy with the camera.”

I wanted to participate, but just couldn’t. I never really felt that it was “my thing.” I obviously don’t have an eye for photography.

Some bloggers take amazing pictures. Come to find out, the pictures I like most, are embedded in a story, or they are connected with each other. There is my friend Cindy who lets me travel the world with her and my friend Lisa, who I like to call the bird specialist. My friend Joanne who shows me her city and parts of her life, and I go for walks with Jo and Derick.

Interesting enough, none of my blogging friends overuse Photoshop. They all tell a story with their pictures, they all make me wish for more. The only exceptions are Julz, who creates digital art and Emilio whose pictures are stunningly surreal.

“I am just too old fashioned,” I thought and gave up my photography plans until I saw a meetup group of photographers. A group of people who wanted to talk about photography and cameras. “Perhaps, if I just join them for one or two meetings, I would learn something,” I thought to myself and signed up.

Last week they had a meeting, and I was curious. I sat there quietly, didn’t say a word just listened to the masters. Then they noticed me and wanted to know more about me. I told them that I was just being curious, confessed that I had no talent. Told them the story of my “perfect” bird picture and finally admitted my dislike for overly photoshopped pictures.

I expected them to laugh at me, but they didn’t.

“Do you think you have an eye,” one asked and I laughed out loud. “I do have an eye, two to be exact. I can see colors and designs in my mind, but I don’t think I have an eye for photography.”

They gave me homework. At the next meeting they want to see some of the pictures I took and loved -like my perfect shot, and then they asked me to take 30 shots of my surroundings that I think could be worth a shot. “Make something ugly beautiful and make something beautiful shine.” “DO NOT alter the pictures with any kind of software,” the added and I almost felt relief.

The next meeting is in four weeks, and I am bit nervous but up for the challenge. Perhaps this will help me to find my own, unique way with the camera and if not, then it was fun trying.

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36 thoughts on “The (not so) Perfect Shot

  1. I hope to someday be as brave as you, to venture out and start taking pictures with a real camera, not just my phone. Until that time, it will be all I can do to venture out, in a similar fashion, with my writing.

  2. I agree with the majority Bridget. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you’re taking pictures because you enjoy doing so. The only adjustments I make to photos are when my cat has dirty eyes. It’s much easier to clean them in the photo than it is in real life!!!

  3. I’m with you on this. I have a digital SLR camera but take most of my photos with my iPhone! Like you, I’ve played with the free software for editing but have never been happy with the results. I think we should all find what works best for us and stick with it. Who is to say that something edited is ‘better’ anyway?

  4. Aside from adding my name to prints I do very little editing of my photos. Like you I prefer the natural colors and lighting. I will use black and white, sepia or negative effects at times. I absolutely LOVE that closing quote you used!

  5. Brave girl, good luck! I still can’t justify spending money on Photoshop. So I just snap away with my old (2007) and only ever digital camera. On my Mac the photos download into iPhoto and this has some simple editing features, so I can crop and straighten, sharpen and soften etc, I don’t do photos for their own sake (though I admire those in blogs that do this), I only use them as illustrations. I love Paula’s blog https://bopaula.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/black-white-sunday-after-and-before-y1-03/ and do look at some of Andrew’s old posts at https://ajh57.wordpress.com/2013/08/

  6. I don’t use photoshop on any of my photographs. Sometimes I will use filters to achieve certain effects but if you have time and wish to stop by my photography blog Roaming Urban Gypsy please let me know what you think. Also even though I own a Fuji digital camera 99% of the time I’m using my Samsung Galaxy phone to take photos. I just find it easier to use my cell phone camera and the photos come out amazingly well!! 🙂 😀 Thank you Ms. Lady Bug!! ❤ https://roamingurbangypsy.com/

  7. Thank you so much for the mention! It was an early morning surprise for me 🙂 🙂 I’ll never regard myself as a photographer but I do have a mild obsession with taking photos. Ask the husband- it drives him berserk sometimes 🙂 I think of myself more as a storyteller who likes to illustrate her world. I don’t have the patience for software, though I ‘accidentally’ discovered that I could enhance photos at the click of a button on my new laptop. I do admire the technical photographers and am a bit intimidated by them, but we each do what we do best.

  8. Thanks for the shout out Bridget! I am excited that you joined a photography group- have fun with taking your photos. The more you take the better the eye becomes. I learned a lot from Marilyn’s advice- her voice is often in my head when I set up a shot. I love playing around with filters but don’t use them when I post my photos. I will crop a photo to focus on something, but changing up the colors is not for me! looking forward to seeing your photos!

  9. Good for you, Bridget. You are so brave to try new things! Just go out and have fun. I’m not a photographer, but… I think the trick is to take lots and lots of pictures. There are bound to be a few good ones besides just enjoying a new hobby. 🙂

  10. Some people like their shots to “pop” and edgy pictures are popular, but i like your originals better than your friends versions. I do make changes with PS on my photos and occasionally go for extremes, but I like getting closer to what i see than for the photo to be exciting. Go with your instincts and show the photographers what you feel. They may agree or give you hints for subtle touch ups.

  11. Oh Bridget – if you take photos, then you are a photographer 🙂
    Personally, I like your original images better than the ‘fixed’ versions. I agree with what sonofabeach96 said – take your pics and enjoy them. It doesn’t matter what others think.

    I will never be a great photographer. The vast majority of the photos I take are awful, but I love the process of discovery because I’m paying more attention to the details around me. Rarely do I take a photo that makes me say ‘wow’, but when I do, it’s enough to keep me motivated for more.

    Take photos. Take lots of photos and you’ll develop your own ‘style’. Most importantly, have fun!

    • I say “wow” quite often on my end, when I see your pictures. You have an eye for details and you take great shots.

      I had fun at the meeting and will continue to go -until they tell me not to. 🙂

      I will enjoy the camera and the learning process.

      • Thank you for that. It only goes to prove we are our own worst critics 🙂

        The group you are meeting with sound very supportive and genuinely interested in sharing knowledge. Wonderful!! I think you are going to enjoy this a lot!

  12. Processing shots is art in itself, when in a darkroom. Overuse of technology to enhance a shot is, in my mind cheating. Everything you need to make a picture more colorful, more crisp, more whatever, is in your hands and settings on a good camera. Making a photo perfect is too much. Nature is perfect the way it is: sometimes dimly lit, sometimes a bit fuzzy, and sometimes just out of frame. I say take your pics and enjoy them. Doesn’t matter what others think about the level of perfection. 😃

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