People, Thinking

Perfect Takes Work

Alan McFadyen's "Perfect" Kingfisher shot

Every so often I run across a story that leaves me in awe. A story out of Scotland about a photography who has spent years trying to make the ‘perfect’ picture is one of those stories.

In “A Perfect Photo of a Kingfisher, 720K Pictures in the Making“, the story of Alan McFadyen’s attempt to capture the ‘perfect’ photo of a kingfisher diving a mirror-like water surface is described. From the article:

Thus began an obsessive quest for the perfect shot, a quest McFadyen estimates took some 4,200 hours and 720,000 exposures. He tried many angles and compositions before landing on the idea of a mirror image.

4200 hours and 720,000 images.  Can you imagine? Sure…its much easier to take that many photos with a digital camera these days and with the speed of modern professional gear, you can rattle off 10 images a second but still…4200 hours (175 days if worked straight through) is a long time looking for that ‘perfect’ image over the course of 6 years.

The photograph that took 720K images to make:

Alan McFadyen's "Perfect" Kingfisher shot
Alan McFadyen’s “Perfect” Kingfisher shot

Perfect takes Work

I’ve been known to say ‘perfect destroys good’ and ‘done is better than perfect’, but in this case, I have to agree that ‘perfect’ is perfect.  Sometimes, it is worth the effort for perfect.

The takeaway from this (other than an absolutely stunning image) is that perfect takes work. You don’t show up to your first day on the job or project and do things perfectly. You don’t pick up a camera and take the perfect image on your first attempt.

Perfect takes work. Are you willing to do the work?

Check out Alan’s work on flickr and his Scottish Photography Blinds website for more info on him, his photography and services.

Image credit: Photograph by Alan McFadyen and used with permission

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About Eric D. Brown, D.Sc.

Eric D. Brown, D.Sc. is a data scientist, technology consultant and entrepreneur with an interest in using data and technology to solve problems. When not building cool things, Eric can be found outside with his camera(s) taking photographs of landscapes, nature and wildlife.
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