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  • Betty Girardeau

If I knew Then What I Know Now

This image was captured on my first long distance photo workshop in 2013. It was a wonderful five days in the area around Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The week we were there the aspens really came into their own, though it is a bit hard to tell with this shot. Which is why I titled this blog as I did. I had spied this grove of aspens as we were driving around looking for some more good locations. I had a vision of what I wanted to capture, and this shot is the closest thing I got to it. Now I know of several different ways I could have angled the camera where I could have probably gotten what I had envisioned. And I have learned a lot more about framing the shot and creating a better overall composition than I did then. All of us can probably think of many things we would have done differently had we had the knowledge and experience we have now. It would be easy to become depressed if we dwelt on this. But I like to remind myself that at the time I was doing the best I could with the knowledge and experience I had at that time. I can't change this image. But given a similar opportunity now or in the future, I know exactly what I would do differently and I might achieve or come closer to what I envisioned. Life is really all about learning from our mistakes and our disappointments more than from our easily won successes. Because it is a processes, it is easy to not recognize the importance of this fact. I may never have another opportunity to photograph golden aspens against a blue sky again, but there will be other groves of trees where I can use the knowledge that I have now to achieve the look I had wanted with this image. I realize that these musings today seem pretty basic and even obvious. But by writing them down, I am reminding myself that I just need to be patient with myself and to keep trying. A failure is not really a failure if it is used to improve the next outcome.

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