Back in high school (and probably earlier) I used to doodle. It was a way to keep busy and take my mind off school. That was reflected in my grades! Probably not a smart thing to do.
Nowadays I sit in front of the computer a lot, so doodling isn’t as convenient. Instead I obsessively tweak photos. The one on top of this entry is an example (click it or this link for a larger version with a lot more detail). It was probably under the Photoshop microscope for nearly an hour. It’s not a particularly wonderful shot as much as it seemed to have potential.
Nine out of ten times I play with a shot and discard my work. The tweaking is done without purpose just because it’s a little mental exercise. Many times I’m tweaking as I’m doing something else (like play online poker).
This particular shot was taken Christmas afternoon. Actually, I can tell you exactly when it was taken: 2:35:48 PM EST. Back in the ‘good old days’ Ansel Adams and his cronies kept notebooks with photo details. Today the camera does it for you. This pic is F/7.1, 1/30 sec, ISO100 with a 70-300mm lens full out at 300mm.
This is another shot from Jepps Brook–by far my favorite subject. A few days of snow followed by warm temperatures have created quite a torrent. More than anything I was out to field test a new lightweight carbon fiber tripod.
When the tweaking’s done I look back and compare finished product to original. All photos have flaws, but not every photo can be improved. This one’s better than what came from the camera without being overdone.
I have taken tens of thousands of photos. There are 19 framed on my wall. I’m not even sure they’re the 19 best.