I’ve been looking through my old negatives for a few photos. I was reminded that I used to be a pretty bad photographer. I’m not sure I’ve improved much over the years (or decades), but I’m at least more deliberate with the shots I take. I used to put far too much emphasis on documenting everything. Click click click. That was a pricey mistake with film. It’s also expensive with digital, but the costs are more subtle – more time at the computer, storage costs, demoralizingly awful pictures.
That emphasis on capturing everything put me off photography for at least 10 years. I might not have gone cold turkey, but it was close. I realized was walking around the planet with a camera stuck to my forehead. Soon after joining Flickr way back when, I got the sense that everything had already been photographed. I don’t think that anymore; there’s always a new way to look at someone or something.
Here are a few shots I took in Washington, DC, in the late 90s that prompted this quick post. They’re lousy. I was using a Nikon 8008S at the time, and I had a minor obsession with high contrast. I vaguely remember thinking that a red filter made every photo better. The only good thing about these photos is that they remind me how happy I am to not have to endure DC summers. I’m not sure exactly when I took them, but looking at them immediately takes me back to a sweltering, swampy, humid Woodley Park / Rock Creek Park. (Sometimes I miss it.)