How Photography Helped me Love Mistakes

The learning journey in EDS 113 has truly been a beautiful and exciting one in my opinion as the topics discussed in here helped me be enlightened to the real essence of the word LEARNING. With the topics discussed, one of the things that has really caught my attention in this subject is about the topic of mistakes and failures. Judging on the topic of this article, you might be stating right now that ever since, I haven’t had any real issues with mistakes. However, I have to admit that embracing mistakes is not an easy thing to do. Thus, I would like to share with you how one of the things that I love to do, which is photography, helped me to also LOVE MISTAKES.

To start the discussion of this article, I would like to share some of the earliest photos that I have taken ranging from a different genre and the mistakes encompassing these shots.

Old Photos from 2015 to early 2016:

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Genre: Sunsets

Mistake: Reflecting on this photo, I knew I took this view for granted. As observed in this photo, there seems to be a lack of focus on the supposed subject, sunset, which strayed away from real view to be seen in here and has been distracted by the somewhat hazy part of the skies.

2(1)

Genre: Street photography

Mistake: I remembered taking this photo way back December 2015 while walking the streets in Baguio City Market. What led me to choose this pair is their passion for selling their shell products by attracting customers with their rhymed play of words. However, holding a camera for the first time in the streets made me too shy and so judging by the photo, the real element of this story has lost its focus as I moved the camera away, resulting to this blurriness and improper angle.

12 (1)

Genre: Light painting

Mistake: Looking at this, it actually is funny to think that upon taking this, I already thought that it was a “good” shot and did not even bother to try do some more takes for this.

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Genre: Portraiture

Mistake: Golden hour, or the time when the afternoon’s light comes from the sun setting down, is actually one of my favorite setting to shoot something. I vividly remember however how impatient I have been with the settings in my camera and also lacked the execution of some effort to spare some time to experiment with the appropriate things to consider. The result has therefore given me frustration and regret as I knew that the photo that I have taken did not capture the real story and emotion of my subject.

5 (2)

Genre: Self-portraiture

Mistake: Of all the genres in the field of photography, this is the one that I practice the least as I feel awkward and uncomfortable being in front of a camera and probably still on the critical process of building a stable foundation of self-confidence. Before taking this photo, one of the ideas for the concept in my mind is doing something that embodies the mood of childhood. At first, I tried to smile but I just felt cringe upon checking the result in the camera. Therefore, I just tried to play safe by doing a low key pose, and hiding my face with the toy camera. Checking the photo in the camera, I felt downhearted as I haven’t achieved what I would like to have, hopefully. Therefore I gave up in trying another take and just decided to turn off my camera bearing this shot.

Comparison with Photos from mid 2016 to 2017:

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Learning from my mistakes of taking the view of nature for granted, I slowly learned the art of reflecting and meditating on the wonderful creations of the magnificent creator up above, Jehovah God. Therefore, to be able to capture the real essence and beauty of a landscape, particularly with the genre of sunsets, the own eyes should be able to observe and appreciate the view first.

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Listing this as one of my notable photographs of progress up to this day, I think keeping on clicking photographs especially with the genre of street photography helped me battle shyness to shoot people in public (with discretion, of course.). At first, I have observed that people are intimated when people like me at this time, point a camera at them. Nevertheless, I have also learned that with a smile, they feel slowly feel ease as they know that this is an opportunity for their own story in life to be portrayed in a photograph, the story that can make them proud sharing it to others. What brought me to this setting is my attraction to the magnificent action of the smoke and how the man blazes it wonderfully. Looking back to this day, I am happy to be able to have the courage to point and shoot this moment. I am also very grateful that this photo has fortunately made it to the Top 20 class in the first international photo contest that I have participated in. Truly, I have learned as well to break the stigma of hating having mistakes, as my experience has revealed how much I am very grateful to be able to learn from it.

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For this genre of light painting, I embraced the mistake that I have mentioned for this part, I tried to address this by trying and trying to do more takes to be be satisfied with the end result. While be stuck in traffic, I tried to do everything I could to make the lights from the vehicles somewhat be able to portray motion and action. After doing 20  takes and enduring looks from people who think I am crazy because of this, I ended up with this result that although it isn’t the best in other people’s eyes, I know that it is a significant pace of progress from the first batch of light painting photos that I have shot.

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In this journey in the field of photography, the beauty of light has always captivated my eyes and with my photos, I try to portray this in different ways if possible. With the series of mistakes in trying to do these kinds of attempts, I have slowly cultivated the attitude of patience to always take the time to learn and never rush with the things that I do such as experimenting on the different settings of my camera. By learning from my mistakes, I have also seen how important taking time is when shooting portraiture to also perceive first with my own eyes the story, mood, and emotion that I wanted other people to see through my photographs.

5 (1)

For this genre of self-portraiture, I know that the only way to learn from my mistakes is breaking first the barriers against the real and authentic self inside of me. Taking this photo has been a challenge as well, as I am also experimenting with a new lens of mine. Nevertheless, I tried and tried from taking several shots for different poses, to varying angles to depict myself and the subject, and the beauty of light that I have mentioned as being very significant to me. Reaching this end result, I think that I am happy as well as comparing this with my early self-portrait shots, I know that I as well am coming out of my shell to be a stronger person in this world.

With my experience, I know how loving mistakes can truly be learned the hard way. With different mindsets of the fear of people turning me down and forever failing in life, the point of not trying even more and playing safe can actually be a hindrance to the real essence of success. For the topic of mistakes and failures for this subject of EDS 113, one of the things that has really been inculcated in my mind is the application of growth mindset wherein mistakes are used as tools to learn and progress even more. By loving mistakes in the field of photography, I as well am also on the process of slowly applying this with my academic journey.

Although the latter part of this article is not meant to show that the images are the best ones that I now have, I always try to do more self-critiques and asking of suggestions and comments from other people in all types of my shots to have this prospect of learning and growing. With the result of success in the end, people may not see everything that it took to reach to this point such as hard work, sacrifice, and disappointment. Nevertheless what matters is how happy and satisfied you are with the end result created, and this is how you love your mistakes.

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