The Importance of Experience

There is an old saying – “Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes”.

Last night, I found myself sat at the computer, sifting through old, long forgotten images. At the time of capture, I believed they were the results of mistakes made in the field during very tricky light conditions. Truth be told, I lacked the experience to edit them correctly at the time.

I honestly believed these were long deleted from the hard drive. What a pleasant surprise! One subject no longer exists while the other has been on a long “must re-visit list”.

Sunbeam, Rossbeigh

One of Irelands most (if not over) shot locations. It sat proudly on a remote beach in Kerry until a winter storm finally destroyed its famous shape & form. At the time, I was hugely frustrated. I had not captured it properly, and now that chance was gone forever. Traditionally, it was shot with waves rolling in around the bow as the tide rolled in. Even in my early days, I liked trying something a little different. Experimenting with longer exposures on a very contrasty afternoon had proved too tricky for me at the time.  

Sifting through the images, I knew I could now make a couple work despite the fact they had been taken on a much older outdated camera body. What was different now – nothing other than my own experience. The final edit will never appeal to the masses. It has been processed with a fine art print in mind.

Shrove Pier, Donegal

Again, taken early after I started photography. This location proved tricky as I struggled to balance the highlights and the darks within one frame. I remember walking away from the beach disappointed it had not worked, despite the 4am start. Little did I know at the time, these unrewarded early morning starts are a regular feature for landscape photographers.

Looking at it now, I cannot understand how I could not process it at the time!


As stated above, the only difference between then and now is my own experience. Who knows what other gems might unfold in time as technology and experience improve!

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