I went to take pictures of classic cars at the Brentwood Strawberry Fair three years ago. I was pleased with most of the images, and happily showed them to friends and family. In particular I was quite proud of this image:
I remember the kind comments, and in particular I remember my friend Nikki saying dryly that while it was an okay picture, she would have liked to see me take more advantage of the reflections. Hmmmm….
Of course we all want to get as many pats on the back as we can. Someone clever, I forget whom, once said that the problem with humans is that we’d rather be spoiled by praise than saved by crique. And there’s something about that.
Anyway… (I’ll get to the point… have patience with with me), I went to my second car show in three years a few weeks ago. While walking around, and trying to find camera angles that would allow a shot of the beautiful old cars without having tourists and other cars in the frame at the same time, I kept thinking about Nikki’s words from three years ago.
At some point, while kneeling down in front of a pretty old Austin 7 and trying to find the right angle for it, her words finally sunk in for real. Reflections… reflections… reflections. So I abandoned the three quarters view and instead tried to make the most of the reflections in the impeccably shiny paintwork, and came up with the image at the top of this post.
I had initially written “I don’t know if it’s a better picture, but…”, but then I deleted that. ‘Cos heck, I do know. Nikki was spot on! Reflections are wonderful when used the right way, and I humbly think that the shot from three years later is quite a bit better than what I was happy about three years ago.
And that’s really the wonderful thing about sharing photos and getting some feedback. Mostly you get a nice pat on the back, and that always feels good, but every now and then, there’s a little nugget of honest gold in the feedback. Listening to that and remembering it will help you grow a bit. Thanks Nikki!