Operator Error

Most of my self-produced stock photography sessions last about 35 minutes. Within that time window, I capture about 150 digital frames. From there, I cull out the best frames. When it’s all said and done, I will retouch 15 files that will be available for licensing.

I try to keep the capture count as low as possible. This forces me to be deliberate during the session.

Out of that typical batch of 150 photographs, there will be some obvious misses. Most of the time it’s because the subject blinked or made an odd facial expression.

Sometimes it’s my fault, like this laughable picture taken in Encinitas, California.

It’s clearly a missed focus by the usually brilliant autofocus system. Even though I didn’t do anything wrong as an operator, I’m still responsible for composing in a way that makes it easy for the camera to succeed.

This session was an outlier in that 221 frames were captured. 220 of them were in perfect focus.

If only I could consistently get 220 out 221 things right in other aspects of my life, I might be in another line of work.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.