A Bad Day With A Camera

Try Try Again

As the saying goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” I wasn’t super happy with yesterday’s tree shots. I mean, they were okay, but nothing fell into the holy shit category on my personal ranking scale. After half a century of doing photography I kind of like to score at least one image from each shoot that is so good whoever looks at it has to toss spare change into the swear jar.

Everything is beautiful if you look at it the right way, Gray Park, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-15

I feel the above image of maple seeds hanging off a tree in Gray Park finally hits the sweet spot. I spent the morning wracking my brain for something I could do differently today when I remembered I had purchased a pair of lens balls at the start of the winter and had not used them since. Today seemed like a good opportunity to bust out my balls, so to speak.

The funny thing is that I wasn’t all that in love with the topmost image when I was capturing it. It didn’t pop on the screen of my camera while I was taking it and it popped even less when I chimped it again after. Eh, whatever. I pocketed the lens ball and kept going to the center of the copse of trees that had given me so much trouble yesterday.

Reach higher, always, Gray Park, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-15

The trees gave it to me good and hard again today in that I had to lie on my back to get the shot and then I managed to get a bunch of cold snow down the back of my jacket as I stood up again. My neck and back are still freezing two hours later. I am really happy with the capture itself, however. It’s got the kind of drama I wanted and I’m feeling better after yesterday’s struggle.

I figured that “Reach higher, always” was the winner from the shoot until I saw how the blue and gold popped from the lens ball in “Everything is beautiful if you look at it the right way” on my desktop system. I added some colour vibrancy and vignetting in Photoshop and started to feel the sizzle, so I exported it for upload here.

Seen through a different lens, Tom Sadler Bridge,, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-15

I did get one snap of the Tom Sadler Bridge at the end of the shoot that I feel is a good proof-of-concept but lacks visual punch. I think this will work better later this year when there is green grass and water and I am a bit more careful with the framing. It’s hard to work with bare hands in the wind chill. Still, it was fun to try.

I’m looking forward to experimenting with the lens balls later on this year when the snow is gone. I bet they’ll produce some fascinating long-exposure images at night.

Note: All images in this diary entry were produced using a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra mobile phone camera.

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© 2024 Sean D. McCormick

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