Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting the perfect shot

The week before I left for England, I bought a new camera and three 4gig SD cards. I didn't want to fret about space every time I thought about taking a picture. Three weeks and 1200 pictures later, I believe I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

After deleting all the blurred shots and awkward camera angles, I still have 800 decent photos. Of those, I selected 222 to share with my family this afternoon. That's approximately 1/6 of everything I took, or 1/4 of the good ones.

And here's where we get to writing: Because I gave myself permission to take as many pictures of whatever I wanted in the beginning, I came away with some pretty awesome shots. If I wanted to take a picture, I didn't debate with myself. I didn't wonder if I had the composition just right, or if the lighting was perfect. I pulled out my camera and shot the picture. Obviously there were some less than pretty files taking up space on my cards, but those were the practice shots. They eventually gave way to pictures like these:

Bath Abbey, with birds

I've got a dozen good pictures of Bath Abbey. This one is special though because I captured the birds in flight. It was serendipitous, but I also made my own luck. If I hadn't had my camera to my eye, I wouldn't have got the shot.

Chandelier in the Octagon Room

Unlike the Abbey, I have very few good pictures of the Octagon Room at the Assembly Rooms. I took at least three other pictures of the chandelier, but they're all blurry. On a whim, I stood underneath and shot this photo. It's one of my favorites from my entire trip.

London Eye at sunset

The sun was setting as my friend and I walked along Victoria Embankment in search of dinner. When we saw the sunset behind the London Eye, we stopped for pictures. I took roughly two dozen pictures of that sunset. This one captures the hazy, end of the day feeling perfectly.

Writers tend to over-think. Do I have this scene right? Did I use too much dialogue/not enough dialogue/would my character really say that? There is definitely a time for all of those questions, but it is not when we are in the middle of a first draft. When you're writing a first draft, you have all the space in the world. Write the scene from different angles. Play with the setting and the mood. There will be time enough for thought later.