I was giving my hands on macro presentation at a local camera club a few days ago and the image above reminded me of the long journey and hard work that it took to get to where I am. It also sparked an idea to share with you about one thing that I have learned on that almost 30-year journey.

Mistake & failure are words that you need to embrace and the above image exemplifies that because it was a mistake! I was photographing water drops one day a few years back with my good friends Susan Candelario and Betty Wiley and as usual, having a great time brainstorming about different effects. We mixed up a bunch of different colors, placed a few gels on the flashes, and I placed my card into the camera. Someone bumped the table when I triggered the drop and I accidentally hit the trigger again. The image up top is the result. This was a total accident, and oh… by the way…we spent the next two hours trying to replicate the image and couldn’t.

What did we learn that day? Mistakes and failure in the world of digital photography are only failures and mistakes if you don’t learn from them!!! The worst thing that would have happened that day was that we learned not to bump the table during the drop shoot and delete it.  We also later learned later on to not intentionally trip the trigger twice during the shoot because you can burn out the valve.

Your biggest fear in photography should be not pushing the shutter button because you may make a mistake or fail. Learn from it and move on. It only becomes a mistake or failure, if you don’t learn from it and repeat the mistake. I think photographers need to approach this art form like a scientific experiment…you may fail more often than you succeed but build on what you learn from those “failures” and pretty soon the mistakes will become a thing of the past.

If you would like to learn more about water drop photography you can find Susan’s eBook on the link.

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