#beinspiredby: My Early Images, Top 5

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

Your early images.

Your not so great images.

That is what we asked you to share with us during this last weekend’s #beinspiredby posts.  A big shout out to all of you who shared your images, mistakes you made and what you would change if you could go back.

Looking through all the images this morning one particular comment caught my eye.  Fred mentioned “wondering how many of the “arrived” photographers are willing to show their faux pas”  which got me thinking.  For now let’s sidestep the discussion of when a photographer has arrived – interesting as it may be – and look at the question of people sharing their images.

The reality is that every photographer out there, beginner, amateur of professional, had to start somewhere.  Another truth is that every photographer out there, beginner, amateur or professional, still misses shots.  Guaranteed.  What we see online is a photographer’s highlight reel, their top images.  We do not see the missed shots, the the lost opportunities or the images that will not add value to whatever type of brand that photographer is trying to create.

For any photographer out there to even try and pretend that they don’t miss shots is quite absurd and for them to not want to show those images to other people is, I think, quite sad.  It’s sad because if you are not willing to admit that you can make mistakes, and have made many mistakes in the past,  you are creating an unsustainable creative standard for yourself which will only place a completely unnecessary strain on your own photography and how you portray your work to the people out there.  By definition, photography is a creative process and the constraints of ‘what will other people think of me’ has no place in an environment which should be, at least as far as the photographer is concerned, free of any judgement and what people might think.

With that out of the way, here goes with my choice of images form this week along with what the various photographers had to say about their early images.

#beinspiredby:  My Early Images, Top 5

Hilary - #beinspiredby:  My Early Images

Hilary Cheese     |     Facebook

Hilary said: Ah, so many things I would do differently – this was an amazing sighting and my shot is not sharp – so firstly I would have supported my camera better, I would have had the focusing on Al Servo and I would have used fill flash to allow me to freeze the moment. Sadly I do not expect ever to be lucky enough again to have a pack of wild dogs running across the river straight at me!

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Linda - #beinspiredby:  My Early Images

Linda Venter     |     Facebook

Linda said:  This image was taken in Sabi Sands in 2010 – wish I was more careful then with getting in too close and chopping off the top of the shoulder!

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Dee - #beinspiredby: My Early Images

Dee Roelofsz – Through My Lens     |     Facebook

Dee said:  I remember being so excited when I took this photo & thinking could you ever wish for a more beautiful pose. I was absolutely devastated when I later looked at the photo & saw how I had cut off the curl of his tail, how blown out his surrounds were & so wished I had changed the DOF to blur the background!  There went my designs of a “National Geographic” worthy image (tongue in cheek) straight out of the window!! I still regret it every time I see the photo as he was a real beauty!

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Kotze - #beinspiredby:  My Early Images

Samantha & Adam Kotze Wildlife Photography     |     Facebook

Samantha and Adam said:  One of my very first trips to Kruger with a camera in my hand, my old Nikon D60  Biggest thing I wish I could change with the way I took this photo was I wish I had taken it in Landscape so that the Hyena was looking into more space. And also WISH I had shot this image in RAW!!! 

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Jacques - #beinspiredby:  My Early Images

Jacques Blignaut     |     Facebook

Jacques said:  I got my first digital camera in 2008. We went to the Kruger Park and on our last day, I saw this beautiful Lilac Breasted Roller. Happy snapping away and when I eventually reviewed the photos, I realised that I have messed this one up. If I can get the same opportunity, I will drop the f stop to f4 (it was on f9) to get the background bit more out of focus as well as the foreground, hold the camera horizontal instead of vertical to leave some space in front of the bird, make sure the tail is in the frame and lastly maybe move a bit forward that the stick that he sits on does not come straight out in the middle of the photo.

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There you go!

So again, well done and thanks to everybody who shared their images, their mistakes.  Well done, I take my hat off to you.

Gonna leave you with this from last week’s post where I announced this theme. Photography is a continuous journey of discovery and I truly believe that anybody who thinks they know everything has reached a very sad self-imposed limit.  Always keep learning, always keep sharing and don’t every stop enjoying the process.

Have a great week and stay tuned for this week’s #beinspiredby theme!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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Comments 0

  1. Dee Roelofsz

    Thanks so much for including my image Gerry – honestly there were an abundance that I could have chosen from, both old & new!! It was so interesting to see all the entries & thoughts as to how things could have been done differently.

    The one thing I forgot to mention was the fact that, as with this image, to date I still always shoot in jpeg – horrors (I can hear the groans)!! I know it is a real no no for photographers, but truth is I have absolutely no idea how to process RAW files! As mostly self taught in PS it’s the one thing I find quite daunting every time I decide to “learn” and start looking at online tutorials! Reading how many people made similar comments along with their photo’s this week, it is now at the top of my “to do or to learn” list with the hope that it will help to improve my images.

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      Thanks for the message Dee. Processing your images will make a huge difference to your final images. Lightroom is a fantastic way to go and definitely the easiest way for you to get stuck into your editing. Remember that processing your images is a part of the digital photography and it’s something you have to do in order to complete the whole process. 🙂 Good luck and let me know if we can assist.

      1. Dee Roelofsz

        Thanks for the reply Gerry. I know that the procesing is fundamental & doing this properly will improve my images. I have Photoshop CS6 which I sort of learnt my way around with the very basic course offered through VEGA, but learning the rest of my minimal knowledge has been done through Googling online tutorials or with my Photoshop CS6 for Dummies book 🙂

        I believe Lightroom is really great but I don’t want to spend on getting that as I am focusing on upgrading equipment as a priority, so will stick with CS6 for now!

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          Haha, no worries Dee. I love Lightroom and even though many people like and use Photoshop I find LR streamlines my workflow a lot! Like I mentioned in the post it’s a case of horses of courses and each person will have their own preference but we should always look at all the options available to us before making a decision. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions as you go!

  2. Suhail Khan

    Must say the images and the mistakes pointed out are inspiring indeed. To click and make images that inspire you is a continuous process, and there is always a room for improvement, one can never reach a point where everything is perfect.

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      Agree completely Suhail, nobody is perfect. The moment we stop learning – no matter how good you are – is the moment you stop growing as a photographer! 🙂

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