What’s a Good Image Worth?

We’re out in the field and see something that moves us. Can that feeling be made into a photograph? Will the light help or hinder? Is our equipment capable of capturing what we’re seeing in our mind’s eye? So, we take a chance, set up our equipment, and make the photograph. We’re never really sure of what we’ve gotten. It’s always an experiment. Sometimes we get lucky and the film or digital sensor captured something that’s as good or even better than what we thought we saw. There’s always that element of luck. I’ve read somewhere that the great photographers are luckier than the mediocre ones.

For me, and I imagine most photographers, trying to make memorable images in the field is always a crap shoot. I recently came back from Yosemite after shooting something like 40 sheets of 4×5 film and didn’t get anything. Ouch!!! That’s when the recrimination usually sets in. How much money did I waste? However, it’s always a crap shoot. I’m never certain when I’m taking the image. I have to experiment. I never remember that time I was in a snow storm at Fallen Leaf, lake, took only two photos and one is fantastic.

I just got back 19 sheets of film from which I told myself would be my last large format shoot until I have an income. At first look I was totally disappointed and again asked myself what was I thinking when I was taking those images.

I scanned this one last night and now I’m in love with it. 19 sheets of film? No problem.

~ by danbaumbach on December 17, 2009.

One Response to “What’s a Good Image Worth?”

  1. Lovely image Dan, looks like the makings of a beautiful print.

    Do you really find yourself completely unsure of what you’ve “gotten” on film? I’ve been finding that far more often than not, I’m aware of when I make a successful photograph. There’s always the possibility of something going completely wrong during processing, but it’s fairly minute. Sorry to hear about the 40 sheets from Yosemite. Yuck. The monetary aspect of shooting sheet film is undoubtedly irritating. Especially when money is tight. Thankfully, when you get a shot like the one posted here, most of that frustration dissolves.

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