I am by no means an great photographer when compared to many of the outstanding photographers out there today and in the past. As I am continually learning new techniques and honing my skills. I have often wondered, did Ansel Adams or any other great photographer just walk up with his brand new camera, plop it down, and end up with amazing shots the very first time he took a picture. Or did he and many others got through an evolution of trial and error to learn what works.
When I started taking pictures a few years ago with a film SLR I hated the fact that I could shoot the picture and then wait to have the roll developed only to find that the picture was not what I was originally intended it to look like. Then after upgrading to a digital point and shoot, and seeing the "light" of the LCD preview screen, It dawned on me I could take a shot and if I did not like it I could reposition, recompose, or change the exposure to get the shot I wanted. I did not put much effort into this with a point and shoot though because I did not think of it as a serious medium for photography or a tool to improve. Last year with the addition of a DSLR I would take shots, recompose, and adjust exposure but still did not get the photo I was looking for. I kept on shooting though and my pictures have greatly improved over the last year.
Lately I have found that I can visualize what I want the final image to look like, but don't know how to get there. There are many great resources on the web to learn from (see my links section) but they seem to discuss their final images only. After thinking about over the last few weeks I have decided to contribute, however great or small, by showing some of my shots and how they evolved for me.
I will show the initial shot, describe it, and then each successive shot until the final image. I am doing this to help myself develop the thought process that I think I need to make this "evolution of the shot" progress quicker so maybe one day I can plop the camera down and just take that million dollar shot in one take. Maybe someone reading will be able to learn something as well.