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The good things about failure

I just stumbled upon another (great) article by Erik Kim, about failure in street photography. You should definitely have a look, it is very interesting. Article here.


Of course I do not pretend to say that it is the same with travel photography. What I do as a travel photography working in developing countries is much easier, in my opinion, that the pure street photography. People are easier to approach and usually very friendly. A lot of exotic things, colors, help creating an interesting composition.

But still, when reading Erik’s article I could remember some particular situations, frustrating situations, when I could be walking all day in the scorching sun without anything good in my camera at the end of the day.

These frustrations due to failure can put you down easily. But then there would be no challenges, nothing to kick your ass and tell you to get up and try better, improve, learn again from scratch.

Sometimes failures are what a photographer needs. Reset. Start over, start fresh, with new ideas. If they made it, you can make it too.

One of my biggest failure: focusing too much attention on my subjects, and missing the woman coming in front of us, carrying something on her head. Could have been a great photo. 

Burmese monks


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Founder of Pics of Asia, Etienne is a teacher with a photography habit.


  1. zen tan on February 28, 2014 at 11:45 am

    It’s an interesting article, giving me a fresh perspective of the difficulties for photographers in search of a good shot.

  2. Scott on March 3, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Hi Etienne,

    I’m intrigued, having noticed the woman in the distance what would you have done differently? or should a master never reveal his secrets?

    • Etienne on March 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Scott, I wish I had noticed her when taking the photo! I spend my time telling people not to look at their subject when composing a photo, and I completely failed here. I was way too mesmerized by these 4 colorful monks.
      But, if I had noticed the woman coming, I think I’d have focused on her, keeping the monks a little blurry (maybe f/4). I would also have centered her right in the middle, between the 2 middle monks. Well, this is what I think, but there are other ways? What’s your suggestion?

  3. Scott on March 4, 2014 at 6:35 am

    I think that would be a great option. I wouldn’t consider the photo a failure, if the woman were perhaps directly in between the two in focus monks it might work better. I guess there aren’t many other ways. I’m thinking if you got closer to the back of the monk you could use the space between his left arm and his head you might have had a nice frame within a frame shot. Thanks for sharing your photographic thoughts with us. It’s much appreciated.

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