Monday, January 12, 2009

Beam Me Up, Scotty

It Ain't Star Trek, But It Sure Is Private Enterprise

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Just before I stepped on a Qantas jet to Perth recently, for a family wedding, I received an interesting query from Baino. She wanted to know if I've ever been guilty of taking a lousy picture.

Yes, of course, Baino. There are some shots – not too many, thank goodness – where I think the result could have been a lot better.

But here’s the analytical reply to the question. I have never had second thoughts about composition, because I think that is instinctive. In other areas, yes, there are times when I definitely think I could have done better.

Occasionally I’ll look at a shot and think I could have produced a different result by trying a different shutter speed or selecting a different aperture.

For instance, I took this shot just before Christmas. I was in the city, in a hurry and the light was fading fast as it was close to nine o’clock at night. That’s when I spotted this bloke, looking like a cross between a Mercury astronaut and a Roswell alien. He was standing on an elevated platform, speaking through an amplified synthesiser and treating passers-by to some pretty interesting dance moves.

He was about fifty metres away from me, but since I was heading to the Bourke Street Mall, I crossed the street to get a bit closer. I fired off two quick shots without using my flash, but as you can see, I should have opted for a quicker shutter speed.

However, I never delete shots that are NQR (Not Quite Right). I leave them, like imperfect paintings, to remind myself that photography, like painting (one of my other major hobbies) is a constant learning curve.

You can always get better – and that is the bottom line for any form of creativity. In keeping with the theme of this bloke’s costume, never let improvement become an alien concept.

(The Odd Shots concept came from Katney. Say "G'day" to her.)


Celebration of Life said...

I appreciate your honesty in this post, David. It is a hard concept for me to think that you don't take "perfect" shots everytime! If I saved all of my bad shots, I wouldn't have room in my memory for the good ones! :o)
Have a great week!

cheshire wife said...

It is an interesting photo even if you think it is not quite right.

Gail said...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I like it!

AVCr8teur said...

If it was cold, the bloke was definitely warm. Hope he made some tips.

You can also learn a lot from bad photos too.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Hey~I like it!

Lee said...

David, I'm a huge SciFi fan so I like the content. I'm thinking that the streaks of light might be lending a bit of "other worldliness" to the image. Maybe not quite right but definitely not bad.


Caffienated Cowgirl said...

I love this photo. I find that the 'off' shots are sometimes the best.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Daryl said...

I totally agree, composition/framing is all instinctive .. focus is a whole other issue ...

Welcome home!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

He loks like something out of Lost in space.

RuneE said...

The day you think you know everything about a subject is the day you have a LARGE problem.

Otherwise - I enjoyed it , well person.

Baino said...

Hahaha thanks David, nice to see even the experts can get it wrong. I delete more shots than I save frankly!

Babooshka said...

A photographer who takes perfect shots everytime is liar. Thanks the lord for digital. Of course we just refer to them as creative/arty/ surreal.