Craft and Serendipity in Night Shots

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I took this photo last night at Epcot. I shot 119 photos with no flash, just using high ISO and adjusting aperture and shutter speed, because I wanted to capture natural light. I may be able to use ten of these digital captures. I could have captured more usable images if I had a tripod. I have a couple of folding monopods. I should add one of those to my list of travel items. I took a couple of pictures using the railing surrounding the lake at Epcot and the photos came out better, but not by much.

A long shutter speed requires a perfectly still camera and I can never achieve that kind of motionlessness. I hold my breath as I press the trigger but I still mostly get squiggles of light.

I took advantage of this lack of manual control and processed one of those squiggly photos to use as my FB profile image. Mistakes can often turn out serendipitously creative images. The professional, of course, should be able to take the image he or she has in mind more and more. Still, those out-of-control shoot moments can be valuable.

Good photographs require learning the technical and aesthetic craft and taking the time to take good photographs. I am not yet a professional photographer because I take pictures on the fly, while I am doing something else. The only time I come close to focused photography work is when I shoot models and portraits but even then I often rush the process instead of taking assiduous care that I capture what I mean to capture.

It comes down to investment in time and effort. Isn’t this true of life in general? The wisdom of adulthood, someone said more succinctly, is already contained in the lessons we learn in kindergarten. It just takes a lifetime to make those lessons mature into wisdom.



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