Ever feel that sinking disappointment when you look at your photos and discover not a single one turned out like you imagined it would? Me, too. Join me in this 28-day series on lessons I’ve learned behind the lens. #naturephotography #photography #aperture #blogger #instagrammer #creative #improveyourphotos #camera #DSLR

Ever feel that sinking disappointment when you look at your photos and discover not a single one turned out like you imagined it would? Me, too. Join me in this 28-day series on lessons I’ve learned behind the lens.

You’ve landed on one of 28 posts about photography and how to improve your skills. If you’re a creative, blogger, or photography enthusiast, you’ve landed in the right spot!

Ever feel that sinking disappointment when you look at your photos and discover not a single one turned out like you imagined it would? Me, too. Join me in this 28-day series on lessons I’ve learned behind the lens. #naturephotography #photography #aperture #blogger #instagrammer #creative #improveyourphotos #camera #DSLR
Now my photography disappointments come from uncooperative subjects.

Photography Disappointment 101

“A mama grizzly and her two cubs!” my student screeched in my ear from the backseat of the SUV.

“Where?” I grabbed my camera and slowed down. The rest of the students immediately went silent as they looked around, trying to locate the bears.

“Parking lot on your left,” she practically hyperventilated in her excitement.

“I see them,” I carefully pulled into the empty parking lot at Glacier National Park and rolled down my window. A mother grizzly and her two cubs ambled through the tall grass at the far end, stopping to sniff and rip flowers from their stems.

“Sooooo coooool,” someone breathed from the back seat.

I positioned my telephoto lens out the driver’s side window and snapped away. These photos would be sooooo amazing. I’d never been this close to a grizzly and her cubs before. Ever.

We watched as the cubs frolicked up the hillside, and the mama followed more slowly. Perhaps five minutes had passed, but it felt like an eternity of wonder.

As they continued climbing the hill out of range, one of the students said, “I wish I had a good camera and lens like yours, Mrs. Ojeda, my camera phone pictures are awful.”

I hit the view button on the back of my camera and stared in horror. Not a single photo had turned out. “I hate to disappoint you,” I said, “but your camera phone photos look better than mine.”

“What? How is that even possible?” another student asked.

“Simple,” I said, trying to keep the bitter disappointment out of my voice, “I had my camera on the wrong settings.”

“Aw, man,” the first girl commiserated. “At least you got to see them in real life.”

Ever feel that sinking disappointment when you look at your photos and discover not a single one turned out like you imagined it would? Me, too. Join me in this 28-day series on lessons I’ve learned behind the lens. #naturephotography #photography #aperture #blogger #instagrammer #creative #improveyourphotos #camera #DSLR

Improve Your Photos

Despite taking a photography class in college (back before digital photography), and a digital photography class one summer for my teaching credential, I had made a rookie mistake that led to great disappointment.

For the next 28 days I’ll share with you 28 tips and hacks I’ve learned about photography (and life) along the way. Disappointment still strikes at times when I snap a photo and miss the perfect shot because I’ve forgotten to follow my own advice. But I’ve improved my skills to the point where I can snap decent photos even in sticky lighting situations.

I’d love to know what you wish you could do better at in photography. What kinds of shots consistently disappoint you and make you wish you could improve your photos?

February 2—How to Harness Your Enthusiasm and Improve Your Photography

February 3— Why Do I Need to Learn How to Use the [Tv] Mode on My Camera?

February 4— How to Make Changes in Your ISO Settings to Improve Your Photography

February 5—What Happens When You Wait for a Sunrise?

Ever feel that sinking disappointment when you look at your photos and discover not a single one turned out like you imagined it would? Me, too. Join me in this 28-day series on lessons I’ve learned behind the lens. #naturephotography #photography #aperture #blogger #instagrammer #creative #improveyourphotos #camera #DSLR
I may not have gotten a shot of the grizzly and her cubs, but I’m happy to report I’ve learned to keep my camera ready for shots like this.

February 6—How to Capture the Awe of a Spectacular Sunrise

February 7—Do You Need to Change Your Emphasis in Order to Change Your Results?

February 8Do You Get Exasperated with Your Photography Equipment?

February 9—Energize Your Photography with Excellent Post-Processing

February 10—How to Work Around a Photography Predicament

February 11—Why There’s No Argument About the Best Time of Day to Shoot Photos

February 12—How to Get Past Only Firing the Shutter Once

February 13—That Sunset that Left You Awestruck Doesn’t Have to Remain a Memory!

February 14—Winston Churchill Used it to Keep his Sanity During a Crisis, Should You?

February 15—Create a New Habit or Two to Improve Your Photography

February 16—Good Habits Allow You to Take Advantage of the Moments of Serendipity

February 17—How Can I Take My Love of Photography from Avocation to Profession?

February 18—How to Gain Photography Experience Without Spending a Fortune

February 19—Want to be More Observant? Try Macro Photography!

February 20—Look at Photos of Peaceable Moments to Improve Your Mood

February 21—Hit a Creative Roadblock? Learn to Recuperate!

February 22—How to Get Your Moon Photos to Actually Resemble the Moon

February 23—How to Check Your Perception Before You Take Your Shot

February 24—Do You Need to Keep Up Persistent Chatter While Photographing Portraits?

February 25—Five Ways Learning Patience Can Improve Your Photography

February 26—Keys to Enable You to Take Outstanding Photos of Hummingbirds

February 27—What Can We Learn from How Bears Hibernate to Help Us Feel More Rested?

February 28—Five Lessons from Dall Sheep on What to do When You Perceive a Threat

Come back each day for new tips and hacks to improve your photography. If you’d like to know more about the #Write28Days Challenge, check out this post.

Check out this series on how to improve your photography! #blogger #instagrammer #podcaster Click To Tweet
Ever feel that sinking disappointment when you look at your photos and discover not a single one turned out like you imagined it would? Me, too. Join me in this 28-day series on lessons I’ve learned behind the lens. #naturephotography #photography #aperture #blogger #instagrammer #creative #improveyourphotos #camera #DSLR

24 Comments

  1. Precious memories are caught with the click of a camera. Freezing those moments that can not be repeated. Thank you for this adventure, I am looking forward to learning more about taking better pictures. Blessings Diana

  2. I need this series. I’ve all but given up on using my dslr the past year because it takes me so long to get the settings right. By the time I’m ready, the moment has passed. But with a new grandbaby coming in May, I’d love to get back in the habit of using my “real” camera instead of only my phone. Of course my daughter is a professional photographer so I know I’ll always have access to her wonderful pictures of the baby! 🙂 But still. There are shots I’ll want to take too.

  3. Ahhhh! One of my projects this year is to remember how to use my Big Girl camera, which has been collecting dust for a few years – I got as far as charging the battery so far haha. Super excited for this series! Your baby bear photos are adorable, it’s always so fun to spot wildlife when you’re not expecting to see them!

  4. I purchased a new camera thinking that the auto focus would be just what I need but I’ve missed pictures because it focuses on the leaf in front of the flower instead of the flower. I need to learn how to fix that! I’m looking forward to learning from you Anita! I so admire your photographs!

  5. Your landing page looks great. We bought a nice camera when our son was in marching band, thinking we would capture a fun 4 yrs. I didn’t take a class and still don’t get the settings right. The photos weren’t great, but we still had fun. I keep working at it.

  6. Anita, as much as I do love to capture special and amazing moments on camera as well, I have to say that I am totally impressed with your student’s response of “at least you got to see it in person.” That kind of perspective certainly helps to alleviate any disappointment in a failed or missed photo opportunity, doesn’t it?! In fact, sometimes I just say forget it to photos and get right in the heart of the moment and just appreciating it. But having those photos is cool, too! Great post. Thanks so much for linking with me.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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