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The Subjective View of One's Own Photography

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Thread started 13 Jan 2007 (Saturday) 22:09   
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nicshow
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I have a hard time viewing my own images objectively. I guess that is to be expected and understood but I have a very hard time critiquing and editing my own work.

Are some better able to see their own work objectively? Are there any techniques to be able to evaulate your own work fairly and honestly?

I tend to look at my images very critically. Others will sometimes appreciate an image of mine that I have discarded and dismissed - it's always surprising.

I'd appreciate knowing how others think about this and deal with it as you critique your own work.

Nic

Post #1, Jan 13, 2007 22:09:55


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gjl711
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I think you hit it right on. It's all in the eye of the beholder. When my wife and I return from a shoot, we go through the pics together. Some pics we delete right away for obvious flaws like exposure, focus, motion blur and such. Some we both agree are keepers, but there are always those that I like and she does not and ones she likes and I do not. We keep'em both, but I find that I am way more critical of the photos than she. I believe a lot of that is because I am the picture taker and I remember the shot and what I was striving for. I see the pic and if it not quite what I was after, I am more critical of the shot even though it is a good photo. She looks at the picture as a picture and evaluates it using different criteria. I find that it is more beneficial to me to here her critique more than just mine.

Post #2, Jan 13, 2007 23:39:06


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thekid24
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Also add the fact Im a perfectionist,so therefor I have a set image in my head,that if/when the true images do not reach that set images quality,then often times I will delete. Now thats different when a person is paying me for the photos. I then have to remember what I was shooting and why, then and only then am I a lil less strict about my photos,I have to remember that most average and some businesses wont be as critical of my work. Most things that I wouldnt let slide ,would with them.

Post #3, Jan 13, 2007 23:44:28


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rudgej
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I'm the exact same, and often will look at one of my photos and wonder whether it is worthy of posting here. If I half-heartedly decide to post, then I'm usually pleasantly surprised by the number of replies complimenting different aspects of the composition or processing. I guess then that these forums are ideal in that respect as you do get feedback in a manner not possible if only immediate relatives or friends view your work.

Post #4, Jan 14, 2007 05:02:16



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condyk
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I'm confident about my ability to see and take a good shot but I'm also lazy about PP. If I really wanted to improve on that I would. I am not that critical of my shots, as a personal thing, but I know what I like and dump everything else. I enjoy shooting probably more than the end product. I see it as a hobby and a means of relaxing and wandering around. I'm not that attached to the results tho' obviously if they were all cr*p I wouldn't bother. I dunno how one can 'critique' ones own work effectively ... as I say I just know what I like and don't personalise my shots. I am a visual thinker and see things easily. Maybe that helps. Others think in different ways and maybe that makes things harder.

Post #5, Jan 14, 2007 05:14:30


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rudgej
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condyk wrote in post #2538219external link
I'm confident about my ability to see and take a good shot but I'm also lazy about PP. If I really wanted to improve on that I would. I am not that critical of my shots, as a personal thing, but I know what I like and dump everything else. I enjoy shooting probably more than the end product. I see it as a hobby and a means of relaxing and wandering around. I'm not that attached to the results tho' obviously if they were all cr*p I wouldn't bother. I dunno how one can 'critique' ones own work effectively ... as I say I just know what I like and don't personalise my shots. I am a visual thinker and see things easily. Maybe that helps. Others think in different ways and maybe that makes things harder.

Good point Dave, I come from a scientific/IT background with hard facts and true/false style conditioning. Perhaps the more artistic right-brained people find things easier.

Post #6, Jan 14, 2007 05:17:23



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condyk
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Aye lad ... a key challenge in photography is getting left and right brain working together. Clearly, there are ket 'formula's' of ISO, shutter, aperture that must be calculated on the fly, that the creative types tend to take less interest in, while also attending to the creative side, that the techie types my struggle with. Craft and creativity hand in hand defines the quality of a shot. I do know that the technical aspects is very much a foundation that allows the creative to blossom ... but I'd always prefer a interesting shot than a technically perfect one. i think that is the basis of my position about the priority given to buying expensive gear. A technically perfect, sharp but boring shot is still boring, while a soft and even OOF shot can really make one feel something.

Post #7, Jan 14, 2007 05:25:33


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goforphoto
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I am here to say that none of my work is any good in my eyes. If you think about it, everytime you go out and take a CF full of image you bring them in load them in what ever PP software you have and work for hours "tweeking" them so naturally you will be overly critical on your own work because you see every single thing you done wrong and you know everything you did to correct it. As long as someone else enjoys your work then your opinion of your own work is not justified. My advise is keep shooting, someone some where will see your work and think WOW! thats a great picture.

Post #8, Jan 14, 2007 05:57:37


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rudgej
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goforphoto wrote in post #2538275external link
I am here to say that none of my work is any good in my eyes. If you think about it, everytime you go out and take a CF full of image you bring them in load them in what ever PP software you have and work for hours "tweeking" them so naturally you will be overly critical on your own work because you see every single thing you done wrong and you know everything you did to correct it. As long as someone else enjoys your work then your opinion of your own work is not justified. My advise is keep shooting, someone some where will see your work and think WOW! thats a great picture.

I dare say that one of my criteria for a successful photo is that if very little processing is required, then assuming composition and focus are fine, I'm very happy with the outcome. Sadly though, I'm lucky if I get one or two such shots per card. ;)

Post #9, Jan 14, 2007 07:16:00



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Becca
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condyk wrote in post #2538240external link
Aye lad ... a key challenge in photography is getting left and right brain working together. Clearly, there are ket 'formula's' of ISO, shutter, aperture that must be calculated on the fly, that the creative types tend to take less interest in, while also attending to the creative side, that the techie types my struggle with. Craft and creativity hand in hand defines the quality of a shot. I do know that the technical aspects is very much a foundation that allows the creative to blossom ... but I'd always prefer a interesting shot than a technically perfect one. i think that is the basis of my position about the priority given to buying expensive gear. A technically perfect, sharp but boring shot is still boring, while a soft and even OOF shot can really make one feel something.

I never thought about photography that way and it makes complete sense. I do well enough with the technical side of photography, but I think that I need a lot of work on the creative side. I've always been good at math, so I guess that makes perfect sense!

Post #10, Jan 14, 2007 07:39:10


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JimAskew
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I see this on two levels:

a. If I am shooting for someone else then I can review and critrique my images is the light of what I think they have asked me to do. I find this easy to do and can be most hash on my self analysis. In the dozen or so "formal" shoots I have executed in the past year I always got positive responses form my audience...this after culling out the best and editing in PP as appropriate.

b. If I am shooting for myself I find it much harder to do this type of review. Most often I find myself satisified technically but unhappy with composition. I use PP alot to get better composition through careful cropping. I wish I could do better "out of the box" with composition...I keep trying and learning.

Someone mentioned deleting the non-keepers. I have every digital photo I have ever taken stored away on my backup hard drives. Occasionally I will drag out a "bad" one and by applying new techniques learned in PP I am able to move it to the keeper side of the house.

Post #11, Jan 14, 2007 07:46:43 as a reply to rudgej's post 30 minutes earlier.


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