Shoot first, focus later

I still remember the anticipation I felt after Esteban’s and my first trip to Paris, when I dropped off 7 rolls of film at Ritz Camera. Had my photos turned out? Would the prints be any good?

A little over a decade later, I’m rediscovering that anticipation—but in a very different way.

With film, I was a careful photographer. I’d spend three or four minutes rehearsing the shot, framing and metering it just right. Opening the shutter was a rare and deliberate act.

Now I just shoot. A lot.

That’s why I usually dread finding an unlabeled SD card. Chances are, it’s crammed with 683 photos, of which maybe 3 are gems. It takes a long time to go digging for those gems.

But tonight I instead had that old feeling of anticipation as I opened a long-lost card.

I had no idea where it had come from, or what it might contain. So I was delighted to find some wayward photos of Paris, from Esteban’s and my last trip in January of 2009.

It’s mind-boggling to contemplate how much my experience of photography has changed in only 13 years. But it’s also wonderful to realize that, at the heart of that experience, there’s still a sense of anticipation and wonder and joy.

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