Talking about errors can cover an endless number of subjects, not only in photography. Let's say it's part of life in everything we do. Thinking about the photographic mistakes we make and trying to solve them motivates even more than if we thought that everything you do is perfect. In the same way I do not keep to the judgment of anyone who is willing to read, this article or any other, because surely I will already be wrong in something. I could not cite a list of errors, nor those basic where the composition is minimized to the point that our images go below the amateurs. Even less certain of all of them because there are many photographic styles where mistakes are evaluated in different ways and because I have some to face myself yet. These lines I hope serve to remind who wants to enter this world that the greatest contribution to discover at least those fairly common rules will be based on the famous and productive phrase "Trial and Error", as similar to how the science studies we know work. Under this same concept millions of people of all kinds, occupation, trade and profession have had the best results. Then, if you are determined to start with photography you will be determined in the same way to make more mistakes than successes. I mean that you must enjoy making mistakes to reach your goals and skills. In the technique that trial and error are minimal and indispensable. The commercial and professional part of a photographer is also full of them. Many times we hit the key, fortunately, but it is so ridiculous to think that it will always be this way that we will get an exceptional job at first, without having been wrong before. I'm afraid not. To that you should add your print, your stamp, but that style must also be governed under that phrase mentioned above, do not hesitate. Get it wrong!
As an initiation council, try to take as many pictures as you want but don't stop looking. Looking is not the same as seeing. All of us can see who have the luxury of having vision but to look is to observe with better detail and appreciation, it is sensitivity. That scene eager to be captured is decided by you. Try again and compare, rather be a tireless critic if necessary. How much you were wrong to get it right ? There is no other way, to handle the technique, your style and the trade will depend on the training, that is the error. Participate in workshops, online courses or assumed the commitment to walk occasionally with a camera and met some goals, challenges, experiment what you can and be aware of your weaknesses to clean them in the future.
When I started with photography, fortunately I did it with analog equipment. I say lucky because I think that tool teaches you to "not waste your eyes". It allowed me to concentrate in a better way and thus also logically lower some costs, mainly of the film roll. And today, as part of the digital era, to prolong the life of my equipment. As for the analog it is obvious that you cannot see the results in the act, you must wait for the laboratory's development as part of the practical process. That is, thinking before shooting should always be the best option, what do you think? At that time, once the photo prints were obtained, I sat at home to look at the results and pasted them in a folder, putting together a kind of photographic logbook where I discarded the photos considered as errors to, perhaps, not fall back into them. This is just an example of a study modality to improve. Today you can assemble folders on the computer with date and well sorted also allowing you to improve your editing and your photographic files (in the future you will need a photo that you took ten years ago, how are you going to look for them in another way?). well, all this "roll" is not an experienced guy. I'm also on my way to being better making mistakes, with the honesty that some have already disappeared. On the other hand and inevitably you will fall into mistakes infinitely, even if you have overcome them, for your environment and for whom you work. They imagine a fresh result without first seeing or proving that it is a mistake. That doesn't work, at least in an aesthetically professional way. Let's say it depends on the stage you are in. YOU are going to know if a photo is in a position to be taken or not, THEY will never! In this case try to make them hear your valuable opinion.
I can advise you with a very practical exercise so you can start to make a mistakes or keep doing it and you will verify that the final result is also based on making mistakes. If it hasn't happened to you yet.
Try and be wrong choosing a color. For example red. You go out and use that key to photograph. Without deleting anything from the card, of course. Or from the memory of your smartphone. All those scenes where you observe that the color red predominates will be your objective and if you put your “sensitivity”, better. Once you get ready to edit (select) you discard the photos considered as wrong. I mean poor frames, bad exposures, those that are moved, out of focus or those that have no meaning at all. Those where the object is 15 miles away, so to speak, do not work either. Discard what is vulgarly and objectively known as a common photo. There are some basic rules of composition, which somehow the eye accepts as success, for example the so-called "rule of thirds" (investigates and starts there). We also know that there are retouching programs that help us "improve" our images but get ahead of that, improving your compositions in advance will also save you time in processing. Well you have to also have training for a good edition or a good retouching, which is very important, but you will also achieve it by making a mistake. Talking about me I keep learning, obviously. Returning to the practical exercise. The final result is to assemble a graphic history of at least 5 photos where neither frames, focal planes, nor similar distances and / or compositions are repeated. You tell a story. You will see the beautiful result you achieved by making mistakes many more times than you have been right.
¨ A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new ¨ Albert Einstein
Juan Baialardo 👨🏻‍💻 © 2018
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