Top 10 Challenges of Photography
by Jim M. Goldstein
Amidst the routine of our daily lives and our individual pursuits
of capturing the perfect photograph it's easy to forget the moments
that make photography unpredictable, humbling, fun and challenging.
Is there such thing as photography humor? One of the many ways I keep
my sanity and often my self-respect is to be sure to see the humor
in the challenges I face when out and about with my camera.
Hopefully I'm not alone in sharing these my Top 10 Challenges
10. "Hurry Up" Syndrome
This is the syndrome I've found most of my friends and fiancée suffer from. The key aspect of this syndrome is exhibited just as I'm about to get the perfect shot and manifests itself with the repeated verbalization of "Are you done yet!?" or "Can we go now!?" and occasionally "How many more shots are you going to take?"
9. Transformation Into An Expert
Although quite flattering, I can't help but find it to be humorous when holding an SLR camera how others perceive you as the photography expert, I often find when others catch site of another photographer holding a larger camera (usually an SLR) you're often asked to take another person's/couple's picture with their camera. If they notice that you're using a digital camera then you might also expect questions on the topic of digital photography.
8. Navigating Oblivious Bystanders
Depending on your photographic philosophy or subject of choice the inclusion of a person can often ruin a photo. Retaking a shot because of a wandering bystander can be frustrating enough, but not noticing the person and finding out at the light box can be even more heartbreaking.
7. Unflattering Contortions To Get That Shot
Sometimes getting that unique perspective requires putting yourself into a position you might have previously thought impossible. I know I've pulled away after a shot many times to find others staring with a smile or waking up the next morning with a very sore neck. Sometimes it pays to be out of sight if you're going to be testing the limits of human flexibility.
6. Forgotten Tripod/Camera Mount
Nothing has frustrated me more than traveling out to a location (especially for night photography) only to find I'd forgotten the quick release camera plate used to mount my camera to my tripod head. In some instances this fostered a spark of ingenuity pushing me to find a way to make use of my tripod even still or just opening my eyes to creative photography opportunities.
5. Impatiently Waiting To See The Fruit Of My Labor
One day when I pick up my slides from the developer I'll be able to wait until I get home to begin looking at them. To this day I always break down and take a peek to see if I got that one shot I wanted most of all. Even more tempting is digital and the instant gratification it can provide. I don't stand a chance with either format. I always have to peek.
4. "Why are you photographing that?!"
While in the field avoiding those with "Hurry Up" Syndrome I'll often take the time and satisfy my spontaneous urges to photograph what others might consider random and mundane things. After taking my time setting up and composing my shot inevitably someone will walk by and ask what I'm doing. Once I explain what I was photographing I'll invariably hear "Why are you photographing that?!" as though I'm nuts. Even if I am, I'd hope they'd take the time to learn that like everyone else rather than jumping to conclusions.
3. Photo Lemmings
On a recent trip I had the humorous experience of traveling along a long isolated road. On one stretch of this road I decided to stop and photograph some trees that had some beautiful fall colored leafs. There were numerous sites along the way that were equivalent, but before I was done photographing the area the next 6 or 7 cars passing by also stopped with people quickly running out and doing their best to capture the scene. It reminded me of one person's yawn triggering others to follow suit.
2. Oops! Old Settings
No matter how many brain cells you're led to believe you have remaining, nothing is more humbling than taking your next shot or series of shots only to realize you're using old camera settings. Whether you're unknowingly taking multiple exposures with film or shooting at too high of an ISO with your dSLR it's better to have a laugh and convince others around you meant to do it as a creative outlet.
1. The Oldest Photographic Error In The Book
From the earliest days of photography to modern day, photographers have struggled with the most basic piece of photographic equipment… the lens cap. One of the most embarrassing mistakes will forever be looking through the viewfinder only to realize the lens cap is still on or worse yet taking a photo with it still on your lens. For myself I think of it as tradition.
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