One of the easiest mistakes to make while photographing is to focus too much on taking photos forgetting about enjoying the pure beauty of your subject or phenomenon you’re about to shoot. It can happen when photographing sunrise, beautiful landscape, wild-life, starry skies, fireworks, rare weather conditions, street scenes… or virtually anything else. Although good photos are definitely a very nice thing (and very important for us photographers) there is nothing better than experiencing and seeing something beautiful with your own eyes – and remembering it. Image is image but memories are worth much more.
And as strange (and ridiculous) as it might sound it happens to me every now and then. I sometimes look at my photos and discover something beautiful that I missed when taking my photos just because I spent too much time composing, levelling horizon, setting correct exposure parameters, dragging tripod from a place to place and alike. Sometimes this very something occupies just a small part of a frame and it’s a pity because often it could be main subject of a photo and this photo could be the best of a whole shoot. But by focusing too much on my camera I missed it. It’s even worse when I don’t capture this “something” at all and discover it in photos taken by my girlfriend who seems to focus on enjoying the views much more than I do (even though she often captures even more photos than I do). Well, given that you could say that I’m simply bad photographer who doesn’t see a lot. While this statement might be true of course, remember that my favourite time to photograph is golden hour which usually lasts for just a couple of minutes so it’s quite easy to miss something interesting if you make wrong decisions.
Moreover, it’s one of the reasons why I like taking long-exposure photos (even though with extreme exposures things might get a little boring after a while) – I set exposure and then have a minute or even more to enjoy the view.
So my advice is to enjoy the view more. Maybe sometimes it’s even worth to leave your camera at home and just watch. That’s what I do recently (no too often though 😉 ) and I really like it. Also when taking photo from this post after grabbing it I spent a couple of minutes just watching because it was really beautiful.