“I came dangerously close to making a good picture,” I often lament after shooting all day.
Much like the batter who sees a good pitch and just misses it, when I see something visually interesting my heart races and I grab my camera. But the reality is I miss capturing the moment far more times than I am able to record what I saw and felt.
For me, photography has always been a lot like baseball—a tough game where there are far more misses and near misses than home runs.
Baseball is a game where you can fail seven out of 10 times and still make a lot of money as a .300 hitter. I wish my average of success was that high.
Let’s say I average 300 frames a day—a conservative number, since days with sporting events I easily shoot 1,000 frames. Since I shoot almost every day, the math reveals I shoot more than 100,000 images yearly.
In a good year, I make 10 pictures I like or feel are successes. Admittedly, my standards are higher than most. That makes my average about 1%, especially if we are talking home runs. I live in a world of “almosts.”
Therein lies both the frustration and the joy of journalistic photography: the challenge of the hunt. If I make 10 pictures a year I like out of thousands, I am satisfied I played well.
Take the Reader Challenge
This month, see if you can make one photograph—capture one special moment—you feel is a home run. Recognize this is different for each of us. It might be the perfect sunrise or sunset, action sports or flower photo that meets your expectations. Ultimately, it isn’t about how others feel about your photo, but how it pleases you.
Email your best image (just one, please) with caption information, including an explanation of how it affects you, to GPH@pur.coop. We may share submissions on our website and social media channels.