Do you ever regret photographs you didn’t take?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Many years ago I was crossing a bridge in Florence and a group of Italian motorcycle guys had gathered together. They were not like a Hells Angel Chapter, but all dressed in fantastic leather. It was like a Dolce & Gabanna ad and I didn’t take the shot in case they may have objected. But thinking about it afterwards, they probably wouldn’t have minded.
     
  2. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    All the time.

    But then I have shots, while at the time seemed to be worthless, that I look back on a see a baby where I now have a 10 year old. I love just about all my shots. I should shoot MORE.
     
  3. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Yes, because they were the best photographs I will ever make. A legend in my own mind and all of that.

    Seriously though, I have passed up shots because I didn't have the time right then, or some other conflict, went back later and the thing that had attracted my attention had been moved, destroyed, etc. Or the light was never the same again. 2 summers ago while shooting in South Dakoka I passed up a picture because I had been shooting all day and was very tired, plus it was a different subject than what I went there to shoot. It has haunted me since. I have convinced myself that it would have been the best image of the trip.

    I have read that Dorothea Lange drove 20 miles past a sign that caught her attention, but finally gave in to her internal voice and backtracked, where she found the picture that would come to be known as "Migrant Mother."
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Not regret... but I keep remembering one that I saw but couldn't get the camera out in time for. It was (or, would have been) priceless. It was London, ouside of HARROD'S. She was beautiful... perhaps the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Everything in the photo was Harrod's green, except her red dress and shoes. She was exiting a Bentley and a Harrod's doorman was holding a brolley as he helped her out. She had long, thin legs... and georgeous blond hair and blue eyes.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Yes, but "You can only be as happy as you allow yourself to be." So I forget about it and move on.
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Film is not expensive so no one should ever regret not taking a photograph.
     
  7. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I almost always bring a loaded camera (or two) with me wherever I go, just because if I don't, it almost assures that I'll see something I want to photograph.
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Yes, but the photographs tend to be much better if one has a camera with them as opposed to being cameraless at the time. Just my opinion although you may disagree.
     
  9. batwister

    batwister Member

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    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Photographs...1613/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353111747&sr=8-1

    Interesting book, with some quite moving & strange stories by notable photographers on this very subject.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Many times, anglers aren't the only ones who regret "the one that got away".
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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  12. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Yes, but I think it's part of the process of becoming a better photographer. Like loading sheet film backwards, pouring the fix before the developer, etc. Realizing that great photo opportunities are rare takes time (along with a lot of poor images, along the way). The key is to remember the ones that got away, so you don't make the mistake again.

    In my case, there's a specific image I think of when I consider skipping a shot. I came very close to not taking it. It was August, on Cape Cod, about 25 years ago. Brutally hot, and I had already lugged my metal monorail 4x5 around for hours. The shin bruising wooden camera case had already taken it's toll, as had the heavy tripod on my shoulder, and my eyes were stinging with sweat. I had just finished (what I thought) was my last shot, and all I could think of was getting home, and an ice cold beer. After I packed up, I saw something else...
    My instinct was to say, "screw it", but I set up again, got the shot, and have since sold it dozens of times. At the time, I remembered shots I didn't take. It was those that made me get this one... It's now the photograph I think of when I want to say "screw it".
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    all the time, but that's live, no ?
     
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  15. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    You know, one of the benefits of having a Kindle is that I don't have to wait for shipping.

    Thanks for the heads up. I just finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman, so this will be my recovery from that WTFery. :D
     
  16. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    One of the reasons I'm flailing around attempting to find a 35mm camera again is because, yes, I've regretted not taking a picture.

    I was coming home from Fort Dodge one night in the early fall. Sun was setting behind me as I drove, so it was casting light in this AMAZING way over the cornfield on my left. It looked like the field was covered in gold. I wished for a camera with Velvia then. Heh.

    When I had the Nikon FE with the 50mm lens, it went with me everywhere. I very rarely missed a shot I wanted to take. I'm hoping that I get the same results when I start doing it again.
     
  17. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Every photographer does.

    The time we didn't bother to stop the car. The time we didn't feel like changing lenses and nailing the shot. The time we knew we should take our camera with us and didn't want to bother with it.

    Actually though, some of our best work is still on the negs or computer, that we haven't spent enough time with to make a great print of. Or somehow passed it by completely when we were editing.

    Those ones are the real tragedies because we actually have the shot, we just don't know it.
     
  18. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Yes...all the "historic" shots I could have taken, all the steam locos, street scenes, long-gone buildings, etc., etc., .....all seen everyday as a young child, before I was interested in photography.
    And all the scenes I could have shot on Kodachrome!
     
  19. AndreasT

    AndreasT Member

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    This happens all the time. Usually it is because I just hesitate. Photographing on the street and being scared someone is going to punch me in the face.
    I do think though that our minds make the pictures much better than they really would be, and only one self can see them. Not that bad either.
     
  20. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Did you ever meet George Stephenson?
     
  21. mono

    mono Subscriber

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    YES, a lot!
     
  22. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    "Nevern known a day without a quiet regret" (Vanessa Carlton: The Marching Line)
     
  23. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    No. There have been too many times I have seen something that looked so great it seemed like a gift from the photo god only to find I couldn't get it to work in the camera. Seeing something and passing it by without trying to work it with my camera only leaves me feeling there is lots to do out there. Actually when I go to a specific area and really like it and spend some hours there I like to leave feeling like there is more to do later. A reason to go back. There is one regrettable thing in that nothing ever stays the same.
    Dennis
     
  24. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Yes....our junior school headmaster had that name. :smile:
     
  25. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Isn't that the truth.
     
  26. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Do you ever regret photographs you didn’t take?

    Sometimes I regret posting here when I should be out shooting. :tongue: