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Bad Photography

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.)

 Just not a good photo. It was my favorite bridge in DC. I probably shot this in the worst possible light. With haze.

Just not a good photo. It was my favorite bridge in DC. I probably shot this in the worst possible light. With haze.

 At the time I probably thought I was onto something with this one. I wasn't. Brings back memories, though. The building on the right in the distance was (is?) the Chinese Embassy. The last time I left DC it was getting what looked like a complete renovation. Next time I'm there I need to go have a look, see if they kept the building's old bones.

At the time I probably thought I was onto something with this one. I wasn't. Brings back memories, though. The building on the right in the distance was (is?) the Chinese Embassy. The last time I left DC it was getting what looked like a complete renovation. Next time I'm there I need to go have a look, see if they kept the building's old bones.