Sunday, February 24, 2013

It was there when I pressed the shutter release ......

The most useful photographic advice I ever received was "if you want people to believe you're a competent photographer, never show anyone your failures". That's meant dumping well over 99% of my photographs, which is much easier and cheaper to do in these days of digital photography, when they disappear into the ether with the click of a button, at no cost. 

But digital photography also delivers its own special kind of failures, thanks to the phenomenon of shutter-lag - that interval between pressing the shutter release and the sensor capturing the image. So I've got plenty of pictures like those below, which looked really good when I composed them and pressed the shutter....

This long-tailed tit was sitting perfectly on that twig in the foreground, looking at me over its shoulder as I pressed the shutter release  ..... it must have taken off like a rocket.

In those last few milliseconds, this pigeon decided that it didn't want any publicity. Its feet came out well, though ...

.... and this guillemot was overcome with shyness at the last moment too....


  1. Phil, I often don't know what I'm shooting. I think shutter lag is a real pain. I prefer to carry a camera that can focus in pico seconds. Not that i have any idea what a pico second is. I manual focus most of the time on prime lenses. These give Muppets like me hope.

  2. I remember speaking to one of Northumberlands well known nature photographers a few years ago and asking him for one tip he could give me regarding getting a good image. "Take loads and loads of shots" he replied.
    To be honest i don't take as many as i should as i find it a chore to pick through them trying to decide if the first in that sequence of 30 is any better than number 16 or 28. But speaking to other photographers they ALL take many shots.

  3. I get loads of pictures of twigs. Can't understand why though. There was always a bird on it when I took the picture.

  4. I think maybe it's old age slowing me down Adrian.........

  5. I think I'm going to have to take more shots John, but like you I find it a real chore comparing them all to find the best one...

  6. Glad it's not just me keith!