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  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Do you ever regret photographs you didn’t take?

    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.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2
    Katie's Avatar
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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. #3
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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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."


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  4. #4

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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. #5

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    Film is not expensive so no one should ever regret not taking a photograph.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #6

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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.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    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.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Photographs-...3111747&sr=8-1

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

  8. #8
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    Many times, anglers aren't the only ones who regret "the one that got away".
    Ben

  9. #9
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Photographs-...3111747&sr=8-1

    Interesting book, with some quite moving & strange stories by notable photographers on this very subject.
    Thanks for that, as it looks like an interesting book.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #10
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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".

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