Sometimes you miss shots because in nature things happen quickly and you just can’t get yourself set up fast enough.
Other times you just miss shots.
Even the top photographers in the world – yes even the one who you think creates visual masterpieces each time they touch their camera – miss shots but that is just a part of the game. We all miss shots and no matter what you do you will continue to miss shots in the future. Sorry, but that’s just how it goes.
A few weeks ago I was photographing elephants with a private guided client at the Zimanga Game Reserve. The one youngster was very active and was quite intent on giving us a show which involved lifting his trunk up to get our scent and then shake his head to try and emphasise his (lack of) size.
We immediately saw the repetition in his behaviour and I knew which shot I was going to go for.
I saw it in my mind.
The eye staring at me past the c-curve created by the trunk.
I would focus on the ellie’s eye and then, through a shallow depth of field, have the outstretched trunk fade away as it reached towards us.
It was going to be beautiful.
I clicked the shutter and after making sure that our ellie was not going to carry on his performance checked the image on my camera’s LCD screen.
My focus point, which I was quite sure was on my subject’s eye was in fact, not.
You can see in the image that the focus locked onto the bridge of the ellie’s nose leaving the eye soft and slightly out of focus. I quite like what the trunk looked like in the frame but the out of focus eye means I am just going to have to try again. I am just going to have to file this image and experience along with the other ‘need-to-try-this-again-someday’ images in my photographic mind.
We all miss shots but don’t think of it as a failure.
Think of it as a great learning opportunity and take what you need from it in order to prepare you for the next time you head out into the field.
Until next time.
Gerry van der Walt
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