Monday, August 17, 2009

A Quick Word About Poor Photos



I take bad photos on purpose . . . . usually, it's because the picture calls for something I just can't provide at the moment - a tripod, a better lens, different light, fresh batteries, a better camera, more time - but I still want to remember the moment anyways, so I snap the photo.  Here are a couple photos that are bad taken in the last week or so.

In the top two, Goldfish and I had just dropped my brother off at the airport and were leaving our place to go on a walk with Chico when an eagle landed in the water, capturing a salmon.  We saw this from our front doorstep.  I turned around and ran back in the house to grab my camera, knowing full well the batteries were pretty much dead but hoping there was a little juice left as I didn't have time to raid the Wii controllers for fresh batteries.  By the time I was back outside, the eagle had managed to fly/flop itself onto the riverbank with the fish and was getting ready to take off - I took the top photo and everything worked fine.  The last gasp from the batteries was the second photo where the autofocus has already given up the ghost and the rest of the camera died soon after.  It pains me deeply that an eagle flew right by me, 10 feet away, with an eagle in its talon, and I could do nothing but watch but I'm still glad I took the poor photo and I'll keep it because it reminds me that day, and how emotional it was to put my brother on the plane after a great visit, and the irony that perfect eagle pictures escaped right under my nose, just steps from my door.

The bottom photo is a night version of A View from the Living Room, and I knew it would be blurry because I wasn't using a tripod and I was having to expose the shot for over a second to get the effect I wanted - I knew I couldn't hold it that still that long but I still wanted to remember how that huge container ship looked in the fog.

Of course the best pictures are captured by the mind's eye when you don't even have a camera.  A favorite mind's eye picture for me was the day my sister and I were walking along the beach out here last year when puffins flew right by our faces, right at eye level, just a few feet away.  They had fish in their beaks and the sunlight flashed on the fish and the bright colors of the puffins and we were glad we didn't have time to consider taking a picture so we just watched, a magical sight that no camera could have ever captured.  

What is the most amazing sight you have seen in the last year that you didn't take a picture of - or took a picture you knew would turn out poorly just to remember the magic of what was happening?

10 comments:

Lori said...

Got to be the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom! I don't have a camera capable of taking night pics let alone pics of fireworks. I cry every time they play that song that was on the Wonderful World of Disney every Saturday night growing up as a child. I'd video them, but just don't think I'd watch it - the particular fireworks during the sone bring back many memories that a picture could not replace. Great post this morning and I love the boat/fog picture - I can only imagination being there.

Nebraska Outback said...

A few weeks ago, we were doing one of the things we love to do, go on a cruise around country roads with our friends. I deliberately did not take my camera because it was already spitting rain and we were going to be in an open Jeep (it was a hot summer afternoon, and the rain was going to be, if not warm, then at least not freezing). When we got out by the lake, there was the most wonderful shot of the rain moving across the lake to us. It was one of those times where the sun is already peeking through the clouds behind the storm, but it is still getting with it where we were. It was wonderful, and something most people don't get to see, because they are wisely hunkered down somewhere safe when a storm threatens. I wish I could have shared it.

Thank you for sharing all of your pictures, even the ones you consider not so good, and for the inspiration your blog provides for us all to share the beauty of where we live with the world.

Richard & Penelope said...

I think that the picture in my mind that I wish I had taken but knew that a photo would not do it justice is when I wake up in the morning in the late fall and the frost from the Kennebec has covered the whole tree landscape with a coating of what looks like diamonds in the sun. Great eagle shot. Love Dad

verybadcat said...

Forth of July fireworks. They weren't bad pics, just one of those situations when a pic (on a cheap digital camera) isn't going to do justice to the live scene.

la isla d'lisa said...

Mom, Dad, and I were driving their old Dodge truck up-island and a hawk flew alongside us for a bit - right next to my window!) with a fish almost as big as she was. I'll never forget it ... seemed to last minutes! She was a beauty and marvel we did.

Alaska Steve said...

Wow, these are great mental images . . .thanks everybody for sharing them. As for taking pictures of fireworks, it just takes practice, you can get good ones with a cheap camera. I got some decent ones in 2007 bracing in a snowbank with a $100 digital.

I think we can all agree that the best pictures will always be the ones we miss though - and sometimes its just a good idea to leave the camera at home.

Lauri said...

You can tell from my blog, that I post photos, good or bad LOL....I love your eagle photos...what a spectacle!

Mystic said...

When I was in Italy, my mother and I were strolling through the gardents on Isla Bella when I came upon what I thought was a bee buzzing about a flower. Upon closer examination, I determined it was actually a micro humming bird!!!!!!!!! I knew my Nikon's regular lens was not going to capture the detail of that wee bird, but it was so beautiful and amazing, I took the pics anyway.
:)

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I do that too. I'll purposely take a "less-than-stellar" photo simply to remember the moment or to archive some very important act or memory. It's better than losing such a thing entirely.

BZ

Rick Fortin said...

I hate even worse when I have the equipment but in the rush I end up using it wrong. Can't tell you how many times I've left the camera in aperture priority or adjusted down two stops only to have the next few pictures come out spoiled until I realize I left the camera off norm. I keep trying to discipline myself to always set back when shutting off but I did it to myself again just this past weekend.