Originally uploaded by Mac Girl
“Of course it’s all luck.” ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson
As I write this post my photo (above) has had a total of 747 views, appears in the rotation for the main Flickr Explore page, and 91 people have marked it as a favorite.
It’s not that I don’t like the photo – I do! – it’s just that I never planned it.
It started with Terry, as it so often does. He mentioned a book called “Understanding Exposure” by Bryan Peterson and said that he’d heard that once you read this book you shoot in Manual mode for the rest of your life. Strong words. I had to read it.
So I did. Well, I read Chapter 1 and a little of Chapter 2 and decided to play a bit, do the exercises, see if it was possible to re-train my mind to do things a different way. To do things in what I thought was a more difficult way.
I’d just unearthed my old Scrabble kit and though that the tiles would make a good subject to tinker with. I had planned the word FRIENDS in an attempt to cheer a friend who was blue yesterday. The problem is that FRIENDS is a long word and it’s not so easy to stack the tiles in a way that makes a 7-letter work look like a random spill. Not from the side anyway. So after several attempts I changed to LOVE instead.
I did a bit more tinkering (you’d never know it but those tiles are slippery little suckers!) and finally got the letters where I wanted them and in an attitude that minimized glare from the window (my primary light source) and still faced the camera. I added a little fill flash – stopped down 3 full steps if I remember correctly – and pulled out a shot that I was reasonably pleased with.
Until I put it on the computer.
Brown tiles, bright colored bag, and a bright festive blue table cloth had me grabbing for the saturation slider. A pull here and a tug there and I had one shot that I was happy with out of many, many test shots.
I uploaded it, added it to a few groups, and walked away. I’d re-learned a bit about exposure, tried something new with my flash, and come up with a reasonably decent photo.
And now it’s on Explore.
I never planned this. I never looked for it. How did it happen? I’ve had more Flickr emails saying that people have added me as a contact in the last 24 hours than I’ve had in the last year or so.
I’m stunned. And grateful. And wondering how in the hell I’m going to top this…