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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Don't be Sentimental

February Sunset
© 2011 Simon Hucko

If you've been shooting for any length of time you've probably had the experience where you share an image that you're really proud of and are a bit miffed that it doesn't get more feedback and attention. Similarly, sometimes photos that you consider a "grab shot" get rave reviews from others. It's a bit of a humbling experience, but I think it teaches us a valuable lesson: just because you worked hard to make a photo doesn't mean that it's a great photo.

It's so easy to get attached to photos that we worked hard to make, but in the end the image has to stand on its own to the viewer. That's not to say that context isn't important sometimes, but in general I feel like if you have to explain why your photo is so "great" then you probably missed the mark.

This is mostly relevant when deciding what to present as a portfolio or some other representation of your work. Go through and select a pool of what you feel is your best work, then open it up to others to make your final selection. The most valuable feedback will probably come from other photographers who have a similar style to you - they know what you're trying to achieve with your images and can cut through the BS pretty quickly.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't work hard to make great images, just learn be honest with yourself about the quality of your work and let the bad or mediocre stuff go no matter how long or hard you worked to take it. On the flip side, always take a second for that "grab shot" when something catches your attention, it may be the easiest portfolio shot you've ever taken ;)


[title of blog] on flickr

1 comment:

  1. This is why I post almost all of what I consider my acceptable shots to Flickr. Most of the time, those images that I like the most get the most views, favorites, and comments. Sometimes what people like surprises me. All I need to do now is figure out why certain images are more popular than others, and I think that will make me a better photographer. Not that I'm trying to appeal to popular sentiment alone, but rather realize what is likely to appeal to the eyes. After all, I've only got two myself.