Every photographer most likely has a story about their favorite image. This is the story of how my interest in photography changed from “the holiday point and shoot photographer” to “the amateur / semi-pro photographer” of today. It all started with one image, My first “good” photo.
It was a hot summers evening in August 2012. The UK Olympics was well underway and I’d just arrived at the holiday cottage my family were staying in after a day out.
Almost as soon as I was home, I left, with my camera in hand and hurtled down a country lane in rural Hereford, UK. Camera at the ready, a Samsung ES-30 Compact, in hand and headed for a large hay field at the bottom of the lane. The sky had just burst into a rainbow of colors, I had never seen a such a sight before. The light was golden-orange, flecked with tangerine highlights and deep purple shadows. The clouds were just perfect in order to reflect the last day-light high into the sky.
I dived into the field as quick as I could [the light was starting to fade already,] and started taking photos in every direction. I didn’t know much about camera settings then, but I did know that to photograph a sunset well the meter reading often needs to be -1 or more stops down. So, with no manual or semi automatic modes available, exposure compensation became the tool to use.
The first few photos were too light, then too dark, some not even in focus. However, soon I was starting to get some OK results:
Finally, towards the end of the shoot, I’d captured the below image. This photo was the first “good” one I had taken – at least by my standards back then. Why it was so good (in my opinion) I did not fully understand – to me the composition was interesting and the Sunset was striking, yet oh-so-familiar to the actual real-life sky.
I ended up getting a large canvas print made of this photograph, which still hangs on my wall today as inspiration.
Looking at this photo now, I can see the imperfections – the annoying pylon cables peeking above the horizon causing the image to look slightly crooked and the pure blackness of the field below which is wasted space. the blade of corn was also blocking the sun at a strange angle and the noisiness is visible in the clouds. Most of these things I could have easily fixed had I been re-shooting this image with the knowledge I know today. Nevertheless, without this image, I may not have started looking at photography as anything more than a pastime on holidays.
That is the story of my first “good” photo.