It is almost discouraging this photo appears reasonable … despite the terrible filter. How could this happen?
I admit to spending some money getting quality lenses. A huge factor with each purchase was trying to figure out which lens would provide a sharp image.
After I buy a lens, I meticulously keep it clean, so dust or smudges don’t take anything away from the final digital image. I have even taken the advice of wildlife photography gurus and removed the protective UV lens from all my lenses because another layer of glass could potentially remove some sharpness. I figure if the lens is heading for the drink, the UV filter won’t save it.
No I am not trying to bore you with my quirky photography habits – that’s just a bonus. Context is important for what happened next.
I was driving around a national park and suddenly a fox appeared directly in front of me at the edge of the road. I slowed down and grabbed my camera at the same time. The fox was caught in the proverbial headlights, looking straight at me. More likely it was getting blinded by the lights!
I had to make a quick decision. It was high risk to take a few seconds to lower the side window and stick my head out to take a photo. So many times wildlife will stop and take a quick look before turning away and disappearing into the bush. I didn’t have time to open the window. So I cringed and did the unthinkable – took the photo through the windshield.
I can’t begin to imagine all the glass imperfections, bug guts and dirt specks that I was looking through. So much for high quality when the windshield is my defacto filter! Combine that with the effect of the low light and it was quite easy to lower my expectations of image quality.
When I got home and looked at the photo, I was surprised. The photo was reasonable, maybe even blog worthy. Then I began to wonder whether I could have saved some money and some time cleaning.
For a second there I was almost disappointed the photo turned out so well, but it quickly passed. I love this fox and I’ll keep my lenses. Of course it wouldn’t surprise me if I have perfect conditions and a clean lens next time and get a worse photo! Photography can be full of surprises.