Thursday, May 30, 2013

Your First 10,000 Photographs Are Your Worst

"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." --Henri Cartier-Bresson
And if you are anything like me, your next 10,000 photographs are your second worst.
Hedgehog Cactus - Goodyear, Arizona
I captured this photograph three years ago.
I get asked from time-to-time why I don't share some of my older images on this Blog. I've been photographing for 15 years now, but you won't find many photographs on here that are over two years old.

One big reason that I don't share those older images is that I'm embarrassed by them. When I created those photographs, I thought they were good. I thought some of them were really good. But now that I look back, I see that many of them were actually terrible.
Train and Corn - Omaha, Nebraska
This is the oldest image on the Blog, captured almost eight years ago.
I can see that my photography has improved since beginning this Blog. I'm a little embarrassed by some of the photographs that I created even just one year ago. That's not a bad thing because I'm constantly striving to improve, and I can see that I'm moving forward. I hope a couple years from now that I'm embarrassed by some of the photographs that I'm creating today.

Another reason that I don't share those older photographs is because of their format. Those images are slides, negatives and sometimes black-and-white prints. I simply don't have digital copies of most of them.
Cathedral Rock Reflected - Sedona, Arizona
This image was captured almost three years ago.
The final reason that I don't share some of those older images is that some of them were stolen. My home was burglarized about 11 years ago, and some of my photographs were taken.

So instead I try to focus on the here-and-now. Some things that I've learned are photographic vision and the decisive moment. I learned how to be a creator of art. I wish I knew those things 15 years ago. Or five years ago. Or even two years ago.
Flower About To Bloom - Scottsdale, Arizona
I captured this photograph three years ago.
Hopefully, my next 10,000 photographs won't have the title "worst" on them.

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