Monday, December 20, 2010

The Ones That Get Away

Sometimes, the story of how the photo got away is better than the photo would have been had it worked out.

During an evening walk along the outdoor mall in Santa Monica, which is of course covered in everything Christmas, we came across a well-decorated, nicely lit Christmas Tree. My partner commented that it would make a nice Christmas card (a project we had talked about briefly before), so I decided to see if I could get a snap of this tree. Since I had my wide lens with me, I figured I could stabilize the camera on the ground and that would still give me enough image data to make a nice 5 x 7.

Of course, this was not to be.

Setting the camera on the ground of course makes looking at the in-camera meter impossible, so I made a guess and winged it using the top LCD. The first shot was WAY overexposed, so I closed my aperture to make up for it. While fumbling with my settings, a presumably homeless, or at least mentally unstable man was kind enough to walk right into the frame and, just as I hit the shutter, UNPLUG the lights to the tree.

I was admittedly confused by this, initially thinking that I had just overcompensated the exposure. Of course, the buildings on the side look just about right don’t they?

In hindsight though, I think the experience of the photos I DID get are much more memorable and precious than a perfect, or even mediocre Christmas tree could have been.

It was better to have a good laugh than a good photo.

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