Why Did I Shoot That? 8/30/2011

View of the Burlington waterfront from Oakledge Park. Burlington, Vermont

Today I thought I would start a new Feature of my blog simply titled “Why Did I Shoot That?” I currently have a Tumbler blog for this purpose but I have decided to delete that account and move it over here to my photo blog. I am going to simply title these with the date I made the image as they are not quite up to par for a title. Many times when I get one or two great images there are a hundred more that just did not work or I had made a mistake somehow when I shot the image. I find myself looking back at these images and most of the time I get a good laugh out of them but it’s also useful for review purposes and learning where my mistakes were and figuring out how to correct them.

Oh where do I begin with the above image? Here we have a nice view from a local park looking out onto Lake Champlain and the skyline of Burlington. The formation of rocks here are only visible when the water levels are low so I took a chance on this composition. I wanted a long exposure here but shooting one in bright, harsh sunlight in the middle of the day probably was not a very good idea. (Notice sunspot in upper left corner.) The composition could use some fine tuning as far as camera position and there is little in the way of clouds. The clouds in the image are wimpy and I couldn’t get a long enough shutter speed to convey any motion because of the sun.

I hope you all enjoy this new feature….Let me know what you think!

Image Data: ISO 100. 17mm. F11 @ 50 seconds. Lee Big Stopper and a Cokin Z pro 2 stop neutral density filter.


10 thoughts on “Why Did I Shoot That? 8/30/2011

  1. Love the concept of this, and whereas I sometimes struggle to get an image I feel is worthy for my daily blog I would have hundreds to choose from by doing the same thing.

    Not sure what to comment on the image itself. I don’t think I would go so far as to say “I agree, this is just terrible” as it’s not, there just isn’t too much that makes it outstanding, though I’ve seen worse in my Flickr stream lately. I think the image is still workable though and suggest the following steps:
    1. Crop most of the sky out so that the frame ends just above the horizon.
    2. Sharpen up the foreground rocks and add a little tonal contrast.
    3. Blur out the background slightly to really draw your eye to the foreground.
    4. Photoshop a mermaid in, sitting on the foreground rocks. She could be combing her hair, reading a book or eating an ice cream, I think either would work really well.
    5. Consider adding a unicorn somewhere, because they’re cool and you don’t see too many in photographs nowadays.

    Hope this helps 😉

    • Thanks for the hilarious comments Murphyz…I often have mistake images or ones that I really like but they just lack something special for a daily image post. Agreed, I did not think this was a terrible image it did have some flaws which is why I never posted it.

  2. I like this feature Andy. I know that there are alot of shots that I come away with that just don’t measure up in my mind. It’s really helpful to see and hear thoughts from other photographers on how they feel about a shot and what they would do differently. I actually like the compostion of this shot.

    • Thanks Edith…I did like the composition but it would have been better at sunrise with some clouds rolling through for effect. I will revisit this shot but I am waiting for the right weather conditions. I thought it would be a fun way to show people that not every image comes out a winner and that there are always things to improve upon with our work.

  3. This is a bold idea of yours – here’s a comment from me! Nothing wrong at all with the foreground at all apart from upping the contrast a bit and sharpening – it just needed that ‘something’ up in the expanse of water towards the left edge and it makes me wonder what was out there if you had flipped the camera to landscape view.

    • Thanks for the comment Andy and glad you like the new feature. I was doing this on Tumblr but I really enjoy my main photoblog much more so I moved the feature over here. If I had flipped the camera the other way there would have been more water and not much else. Im going to try to revisit this in the winter for a change of pace.

  4. NLikewise I agree there is very little wrong with this shot. I also know that we all get more images that don’t see the light of day than ones that do.
    I often select a picture because it has something that works on a personal level. I’ve also left photos as they just lacked something only to return years later and process a different way and it worked.

    • Agreed Chris…I have started to keep all of my bad/mistake images so I can breath some life into them in this blog feature. I just had an image published in a magazine that I almost did not submit and I came really close to deleting it forever. I would have regretted that decision because I waited a year to see that image in print. I really only delete the really bad ones and now I keep my so-so ones for this feature..You just never know!

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