I almost deleted it / by Carey

I *almost* deleted it.  Truly, I did.

You see, I have this crazy issue where I think images should be in focus.  Well, let me clarify.  What is clearly intended to be the subject of the photograph should be in focus.  So if the image is of a child's face, then more than likely, the child's eyes should be in focus.  To put it bluntly, I find it incredibly, incredibly frustrating to see images where the focus is boldly wrong and no one seems to notice.  To me, this is something that separates a good photographer from one who is, well, .... I should probably stop there.

So while I was shooting a few days ago for a creative project (gracious, that is so out of my comfort zone!),  in an effort to keep the Little Lady cooperating for what I was really after, I'd take breaks to make her giggle, laugh, and whatnot while I was shooting.  The lifestyle in me just cannot help itself, I suppose, and I keep shooting.  Missed opportunities, I say.

After that little series, I scroll through the preview display on the camera to see what I've got and to delete any non-keepers, which for me is just mostly out of focus shots (I've been trying to do this as I shoot, since I no longer seem to have time to go through the images once they hit the hard drive).  I came to this shot, and immediately my heart sank.  Crud.  I missed the focus.  Her eyes aren't sharp.  Focus fell on the little wisp of hair on her forehead.  Such potential.  What expression.  What joy.  The light in her eyes.  But I failed.  Photographic failure.  I should delete it.

And I hit the delete button.

And the confirmation words pop up... Are you sure?

I hesitated.  Am I sure?  I decided -- I'll keep it.  It may not be worth anything to any artist, but I can't delete that joyful, albeit out of focus, image.

Fast forward a few days and I am having an e-conversation with a photographer friend.  That conversation reminded me of some things I wanted to play around with, and I went to my January folder.  Quickly scrolled through to find an image that would work for what I wanted to play... Saw this.  Perfect play image.  Isn't perfect, but it would work for my play.

But suddenly, I'm gasping.  Aloud.

Because what I thought was a photographic fail.  A non-keeper.  A disappointment.  Was actually now my very favorite image I've taken of her, and is rivaling my favorite images I've ever produced.  And to think.  I almost deleted it, before it ever left my camera.  The focus is off, but I think this is a grand case of imperfectly perfect.  Although I must confess, I know I did it, but I still can't believe this image is mine.

Carey Pace Tricities TN photographer

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