Embracing Imperfection

My screen saver on my computer in the office is rotating images from our photo hard drives.  Right now there are just about 60,000 photos stored on these drives.  I often find myself just staring at the screen watching the photos fade in and out.

What I find most interesting about my screen saver is that it includes ALL of our photos, not just our best ones.  What’s interesting about this is that it forces me to look at photos that I may normally overlook. Many of these photos could be considered imperfect  because they are out of focus, over or under exposed or just plain unrecognizable.

I’ve been starting to really embrace our imperfect photos.  They seem to evoke more of a response and emotion from me than many of our popular images.

In today’s digital world, there’s no reason not to bury yourself in mega pixels.  Storage is becoming cheaper and cheaper, so why not hold onto those photos?  I’m not saying you should never delete photos, but you’d be surprised which ones you will gravitate towards later.

I read quite a few photography books, especially travel photography books.  These are all filled with great information that anyone interested in photography should know.  With that in mind, sometimes it’s just fun to throw the rule of thirds, light metering, exposure compensation, ISO and all the rest of it out the window and experiment.  Maybe not even experiment, just be plain reckless, shoot from the hip,  pick random settings regardless of the light, turn your mistakes into masterpieces.  It’s not like your burning through expensive film, you’re just slaying pixels.

Here’s some of our favorite reckless photos and how they were born:

Moving about 200 mph on the Shinkansen Bullet Train from Tokyo to Kyoto. It almost looks like an oil painting.

In Paraty, Brazil attempting to photograph one of this guy's buddies, he swooped down from behind us and ended up in the frame.

The camera was on the complete wrong exposure setting blowing it out... which ended up to be a lot more interesting.

Another blown exposure working out for this photo of Masai in Tanzania.

This was taken through a little barred window across the river from the Taj Mahal.

The crazy street party in Ho Chi Minh City after Vietnam defeated Singapore in Soccer.

Bouncing along in the back of an Indian Auto Rickshaw, experimenting with 1 second exposures.

A speeding Parisian in a tux.

A reflection of a brightly colored buildings of La Boca in Buenos Aires.

Shot from the hip and way over exposed washing out everything except that precious face in Cuzco, Peru.

8 Responses to Embracing Imperfection

  1. Wendy says:

    I absolutely LOVE the last photo! Great composition!

  2. Tina says:

    I love the photo of the Taj Mahal- you both are fantastic photographers. I often sit and sift through your blog. You both should be proud. Hope you see you soon.

  3. Thanks for the reminder that an imperfect photo might be saying something just as powerful as a perfect one. I just have to let go of what I was looking for and see what I have instead. Cheers!

    • Meggan says:

      Hey Gillian! Thanks for the comment. It could true for art and life. ;) Beau and I try to pick our pictures based on the emotions that it makes us feel. Since life is not always perfect I like seeing art and photos that show that as well. I also think it is cool to see crisp perfect photos contrasted by blurred imperfect photos. I think the contrast brings out the best in both of them and makes them strong.

  4. Sammy says:

    Loved the topic of embracing imperfection, and I would have to say that many of these pictures really do evoke emotion that you don’t realize or can’t be captured through the so called perfect picture. Amazing life lesson as well. Keep them coming.

    • Beau says:

      Thanks Sammy, I agree with you. I think this applies to most things in life. Oh, and happy early birthday!