I remember holding my negatives up to the light only to find just a few correct exposures surrounded by completely white and black squares. My professor leaned over my shoulder and said that I forgot to set the correct ISO.
Ooops I forgot to __(blank)__ was a common line when I first began using my camera. I found it difficult to keep track of all of the technical camera settings admits framing and composing my artistic vision. I would forgot to set the right ISO, forget to double check my speed or aperture, forgot to focus on the eyes…
I of course needed practice and lots of it, but I also needed to focus my efforts on learning and tackling one component of the camera at a time. To understand how each part of my camera worked I studied and devoted my practice time to one thing like…aperture. I read about aperture, explained aperture to friends and family (thank you for listening), and practiced. I created lessons where I just focused on practicing aperture. I photographed people, inanimate objects, even stuffed animals at f 16 at f 1.8…. You get the idea. Once I had the basics, I moved on to speed, ISO, depth of field…
Eventually I began to consistently take photos with correct exposures, but every now and then there was an “oops I forgot to___(blank)___.”
To help minimize those “oops”, I carried around a 5×7 card with these words:
- f stop
- is my speed high enough?
The card was a simple reminder to check my settings. As I practiced, the card found a deeper and deeper home in my camera bag. But it recently reappeared when I pulled out my very first camera bag this past weekend. I placed the old crinkled card in visible site next to my husband’s camera equipment and we headed out to photograph a wedding.
And while I no longer need that specific card and have past it along, I still carry a notebook with notes and details for each session. Notes that keep me on task, notes that push me to try new things, and notes that keep me from the occasional “oops.”
Because we all have “oops” to learn from.
Wondering what a recent “oops” looks like?
So here is where the oops comes in…
I forgot to wipe off my camera and didn’t realize there was a haze until a few minutes in. Ooops.