The one thing I do almost constantly is to try and identify the mistakes in my photos. In turn I try NOT to do those same mistakes over (although I often do). It can range from simple Photography 101 stuff such as using the wrong shutter speed or aperture for the given subject, to composition errors, or choosing the wrong lens. I may not make technical mistakes too often but I know I make plenty of artistic ones.
Sometimes I only have one lens with me and I HAVE to choose it, so I have no choice if it’s the “wrong” lens. But when I carry limited gear I try to visualize photos that would work with what I have on me. There have been times when I was only carrying a wide angle lens and I saw plenty of opportunities for great telephoto shots and had no choice but to pass on the photo. But there have also been a number of times when the photo I took with the lens I had on me was the perfect photo and I couldn’t imagine taking those photos with any other lens. I have had two winning photographs published that were taken with an old Super-Takumar lens that I happened to have on my camera at the time I took the photos. In both cases I don’t think if I had a different lens, and especially a zoom lens, that I would have taken the photos the same way, and achieved the same output.
As for todays photo, I took it with a slow consumer zoom lens. The lens. like all consumer zooms, works best when stopped down a little from maximum aperture and I tend to use it that way, often with good results. In fact it is my used lens since it is so versatile. However, where I went wrong here was in not opening up the lens a little more (and slightly sacrificing quality) to lower my ISO a little. This was shot at ISO 3200 handheld and I could have gotten away with at least ISO 1600 which would have improved the overall quality greatly. If I had given myself maybe three extra seconds to think about what I was doing at the time, I could have upped the image quality with ease. Say what you will about modern image sensors and how great they do high ISO’s, I’m still not a fan and I like to shoot as near to native ISO as possible.
It’s a done deal now but one that I will hopefully remember next time. But then, maybe I should just have faster lenses in the first place. I’m working on remedying that right now.