Saturday, January 22, 2011

Your worst photograph...

Park, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Birches, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Track, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Blur, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Firs, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Forest, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Well, Matthew Dutile caught my eye with the title Why You Should (Or Shouldn’t) Abandon Your Flickr Account. And there was one thing in the writing which I liked, because I strongly disagree with it: "You’re only as good as your worst image. Eventually you may realize that while you’ve got some good ones, others are pretty bad. You don’t want a potential client to have to wade through the bad ones. All they should see is your best."

I'm not seeking a paying audience, I'm taking photographs for myself. And in this, bad photographs are important, because they are the ones you learn from. And perhaps there are some such ones in this set from today?

But in any case, it was good to be out skiing today, for 1 1/2 hours. Coming back from Belgium I once again have appreciation for the snow of the Finnish winter.

Did I already post a link to this inverview of Maloof, on Vivian Maier?


Markus Spring said...

One of your worst photographs in today's set? It seems you are kidding!

Of course it's a matter of personal preferences what to regard as best or worst, but using flickr as a creative outlet (and a blog in a different way as well) one is asking for feedback. This feedback can be important, depending also on the mechanisms behind the commenting - in many ways flickr is a typical "friendship generating machine", a bit more thematically oriented than for example facebook, but that "I comment yours to make you comment mine" thing is quite present there. No way to avoid it though, it is in many aspects a fascinating place, to meet as well as to exchange and to learn.

Juha Haataja said...

Well, I got a bit overwhelmed yesterday, as there were so many photographs recently taken which I needed to go through. So I wasn't at all convinced that these were any good.

In fact, later I made another posting from the same set of photographs.

I have been using Flickr just for storage, uploading all photographs that pass the initial inspection. Probably quite a different purpose than for most Flickr users.

Sven W said...

I agree that you can learn from your bad photos, but more the obvious blunders like "use fill flash if the subject is in shadow". With a little practice we can all take competent photos from a technical perspective, but not necessarily *interesting* images.

I suspect to create more interesting images we need to ruthlessly edit the bad and not-so-good, leaving just the good and better. Looking at the best work of the masters is important as well, IMO.

Two more ways that I learn:

1. Post-process your photos to improve them (minor changes, don't attempt a "rescue mission"). The process of thinking through the edits should improve subsequent photos (in-camera).

2. Look for photos you take that are outside your usual "style". I occasionally take an image that I really like but vaguely wonder that I actually took it! It seems foreign to my usual stuff. I think these images are a pointer to your "subconscious" photographer; what you do when you work with your intuition.

Another thought: I only take a photo if I think it's going to have some merit (experiment, technical, aesthetic, documentary etc). If I believe I've already taken a similar photo and this one is going to be no better than I don't press the shutter.

These ideas may not work for others, but I feel I'm slowly improving with this methodology.

Juha Haataja said...

@Sven W: Thanks1 I think I'm getting to be somewhat allergic to computers.