As I normally do, I set out a few days ago to do some shooting around town in preparation for another show and just to collect more images. Unfortunately, I ended up having a timing issue and ended up shooting in mid-day light and all the contrast that comes with it this time of year.
As I moved around town, sweating in the heat of a spring day in Georgia, I was getting a little dismayed by the results of my time out. I began to think of the times, while in school, I would go out and shoot any time of the day. My argument at the time was that the color would be there in high sun just the same as it would be during the "magic hours". To me the contrast didn't take away from form, color, and composition. Somehow I was able to sell the idea to my professors and peers and create work that made its point. However, as I've evolved, I've come to appreciate the lower hanging light of mornings and late days. That being said, contrast was not what was going to make my day.
I complained about this contrasty light with some people and found they all said the same thing: Maybe it will work out. They were right. Not only did I come away from the day with some great images, but I learned what I can get away with in an area I'll be shooting a lot in the weeks and months to come.
This leads me to a point I wanted to share that learned through a class years ago and was able to recently share with a soon-to-graduate senior at Augusta University.
There comes a time that admitting your mistakes can become a blessing in disguise.
I first realized this while working on a black and white print notebook. The notebook comprised of one image printed 480 times on different papers, using multiple developer and toner combinations. While working with a fellow student, we decided to try a toner combination that ended up causing a huge problem. If I remember correctly, the combination that we used was a selenium toner and Kodak Poly-toner (again, can't remember and don't have the notebook handy). We quickly found out that this combination caused bleaching in the prints leaving all tones from grey to black a shade of pastel pink! I was left with the dilemma of reprinting these particular prints and possibly not getting the work in on time, or just leaving them in. After careful deliberation, I decided to leave them be and move forward.
When I had to present the notebook, my accompanying notes made a specific point to talk about these "surprise" results. I took the chance to explain what had happened and what I had learned from the experience. I knew what the images SHOULD have looked like, but found that to get the result, one must not try the toner combination we attempted. I ended up not having any penalty in my grade because I directly confronted and assessed the problem.
I learned from this project and the issues that came from it, as long as you stop and admit your mistakes, most of the time you will not only learn from your experience, but come away with knowledge that is beyond compare.
Admit your mistakes, learn from them, and move forward with more knowledge from it.