Photography and The Law of Averages · 11 August 2013

I love taking pictures because I know that the law of averages is in my favor in terms of getting a good shot.

(I was not really going to write about photography, but I was looking at some of my old pictures yesterday and found a couple I wanted to show off. Actually, I was making a new Facebook banner and saw the pictures again. Since I had not written about the events, I figured I could at least write about the pictures. The funny thing about the pictures is that I was just taking a picture of my son in the one and I wanted to capture the blue water in the other. It is amazing what happens when you are not even trying.)

As much as I like taking photographs, I doubt I will ever be considered a photographer. I do not get the thumb in the picture or shoot the ground very often anymore. At least not enough to be considered inept. But neither do I get the spectacular or unforgettable shots that the greats are known for. Still, I get nice pictures every once in a while. Mostly, because I understand the law of averages as it applies to photography.

When I was first learning photography, I wanted to get the best camera I could afford. Actually, I wanted the camera that was the most like the ones my cousins had. They had these wonderful SLRs that I had to have. I did lots of research on which cameras were the best, but I am sure I was biased toward what they had. Eventually, I got one that was a few steps down from theirs, but I figured with my camera in hand, I was on my way to becoming the next Ansel Adams.

Even before I got my camera, I studied a bit about light, color, and composition. Then, once I got it, I learned how to use my camera. I started taking pictures. Lots of them. I knew that in order to get one good picture, I would need to take a bunch. I did not come up with anything that would make the cover of a magazine, but I liked what I was doing. The only problem was that photography was such an expensive hobby back then.

Even though it was expensive, I liked taking lots of pictures. I knew I would get a decent one every now and then. After all, that was the law of averages. Most of the time my shots would be normal. That meant decent. Average. Every once in a while I would go well below that average. The really bad shot with a branch sticking up out of somebody’s head or one with everything out of focus. But the payoff was getting pictures that were well above average. That breathtaking landscape or the perfect candid shot of a family member.

The law of averages worked for photography. I shot lots of pictures to get those few memorable ones.

Today, the law of averages is still in my favor. Only now, I get more good shots because I take more pictures and because my average has gone up. I take shot after shot after shot and hope for a good one because I still do not worry about cost. After all, the only real cost is disk space. Sure, I still take time to compose pictures, but I know that I can just shoot and at least once in a while, I will get a good picture.

I am still learning about my camera and photography in hopes that I can get better, even though I will never truly be considered a photographer. When it comes down to it though, that does not really matter. I just love taking pictures. And I know I will get a good shot every once in a while because the law of averages is in my favor.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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