We all have them. Photographs that we’ve taken and get that sense of “I really got something this time” the moment you press the button. As you make your way back to your computer to offload and process the images you’re beside yourself with excitement. “This time, I REALLY nailed it! I captured the magic of the moment!”.
Sometimes, as those images begin to load on your computer screen you see “the one” and it’s everything you hoped. Other times, the images looked much better through the viewfinder and the final product fails to relay what you felt while taking the image. Every time, I will look at my photos and say “What could I have differently to improve this image?”. Inevitably there are always things that I wish I’d have changed. If you’re lucky, you’re still near the location and if you’re REAL lucky the lighting and other conditions repeat themselves to give you a second chance. More often than not, however, the moment is gone! Your vacation is over and you’re now 3,000 miles away from the scene or your return trip to the venue hands you crappy light or other adverse conditions. So what’s this about planning a “Re-do”?
While it’s true that more times than not you will NOT get the chance to repeat the experience and apply those “other things” that would improve your image, it’s still an incredibly valuable lesson. Why? Because over time you become more cognizant of those improvement ideas while you are STILL ON LOCATION. You’re planning your “Re-do” while you are still there and in the moment. Now you DO have the opportunity to capitalize on making the image the best it can possibly be.
If you’re doing it right, odds are pretty good that you will STILL find things that you wish you’d have done differently to improve the image. Like most things in life, your photography skills continue to evolve with every photo taken, processed and critiqued.
So keep pressing the button, keep asking yourself “What if…?”, and by all means keep pushing yourself to that next level. As they say, the joy is in the journey, not the destination.