From a Photographer Not Happy With Final Imagery...

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by benjikan, May 6, 2007.

  1. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    From Another Forum..My Response:

    I was sent a personal message by a very fine photographer on this forum. He/She told me that they were frustrated with the outcome of their images. They were not coming out in the manner they were imagining they could. I wish to only share my response, as it may aid those in understanding how to get over some creative log jams...perhaps.

    Hello;

    As a photographer with about 27 years behind me, I make it my practice NOT to critique other "Humans" expression captured in Imagery, Music, Painting etc. You are in your own way unique in the way in which you capture the moment that you have decided to capsulate. It is that moment of "Commitment" that says "This is my view of reality, this is 'Me.'" Now if the "This is me" is not content with the outcome of that "Commitment" to capture that image at that moment in time, because the outcome did not satisfy what you really imagined what the outcome could have been, that is a technical issue. It could imply your understanding of the importance of Post Production is underestimated. It could be that you have not been honest with yourself and hesitated, not allowing yourself the intimacy required to capture "That" photo. It could be a certain handicap in basic rules of balance between light and dark or the "Yin Yang" principal. That being understand what Balance means to you. Post Prod is very much a part of the final image being realized. My images are what they are, because the final outcome was desired. That does not mean that there is no room for experimentation. It means that in my planning process I always allow that the "Accident" element be a vital part of that process. I am always trying to push the envelope and surprise myself with something new. Perhaps it has more to do with my own perception of myself and getting bored too easily, or to a greater degree, a lack of confidence in myself. I am working on that issue every day and is a work in progress. Technique in my opinion should only be considered as a response to a specific desired outcome and not the means to the end.

    Prior to building the house, you need to first do a briefing of what those requirements are. Do a conceptual plan and follow up with working drawings. That could be considered the story board. Construction of the house could be considered the technical tools, i.e. lighting framing, realization of the "theme-subject" and the post production to the final outcome the "House" built, photo concretized or the print.

    If you feel that your goal has not been accomplished, find the tools that will assist in realizing that outcome. Sometimes as a result of a lack of vocabulary, we do not even realize what tools exist and worse than that, we lack the vocabulary to even know that certain questions exist. You must garner a vocabulary to enlighten yourself to the possibilities. In doing so, you will learn how to be discerning and your outcome will be even richer in my opinion.

    It is a known fact that those people with a large vocabulary, lead a richer and more fulfilling life than those who have a limited one.

    Experiment, make mistakes, catalogue those mistakes and make them your own style. Enjoy the experience and share that experience with others so they may benefit by your insight.

    To be continued...

    I will post this for others to view, in the hope that it may just add a slightly different perspective on their mind set to get them over the hurdles they confront creatively.

    Best Wishes
    Ben
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is exactly what photography is about. This response encapsulates two things I hold very dear to my heart. They are that buying an SLR does not MAKE you a photographer, neither does snapping random photos and putting them on the web for all to see, and nor does technical expertise ensure fantastic outcomes. Photography is an art, it is individual, and a photographer be it amateur or professional is someone who goes out and works for the sake of exploiting their creativity in personally fulfilling ways. The personal aspect of it happened to me no less than 3 hours ago when I showed a friend my best photo from last night to which he replied it's too dark and it looked like an idiot set up the lighting. Though my friend loved my boring firework photos I took only 15 minutes later.

    The second is that no matter what you do, what you plan, sometimes pure stupidity or forgetfulness will yield the most interesting photo. For those practically minded an example was a shoot I did recently with friends. He was giving her a piggyback ride. They were standing in front of the setting sun and my flash was aimed at them from a stand on the right. I joked about how I couldn't get the sun above them because of how tall they were and I jumped into the air to take a the photo. The flash freezed them and the camera shake made the background a chaotic blur. Stupidity resulting in the best photo of the evening.
     
  3. C.3.3.

    C.3.3. TPF Noob!

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    There is a lot of truth in these comments. I'd like to add one, which is that not being happy with the final image should not be interpreted as a sign of failure. Sure, pre-visualizing what you want and discovering your own photographic vocabulary are important in increasing your chances on having the photo come out the way you want, but the feeling of disappointment and frustration when that shot you thought was going to be perfect when you took it comes out uninteresting and plain, is something even the greatest photographers have very regularly. In fact it is something you should be happy to experience, because it means that you are able to take a critical position towards your own photos, and that is the only way to keep improving. It is probably when you start liking immensely everything that comes out of your camera that you should really start worrying.
     
  4. gizmo2071

    gizmo2071 TPF Noob!

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    :clap::clap::clap:

    Well said guys :cheers:
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Well in my case pure stupidiy + stupid looking image.

    No owning an slr does not make you an artist by any means, but closing your mind to others opinions and thoughts about your work does not make you a genius either.

    I think an artist of any kind needs to balance out his/her own ideas by at least listening to those who have a different idea. Give it the weight it deserves, but I personally always listen. Even in a bad idea there might be a better one hiding in the background I can pull out.

    But hell that's just me. Ive been a professional photographer since 1969 and a retired one since 2000. So maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.
     
  6. RedDevilUK

    RedDevilUK TPF Noob!

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    a hint of sarcasm i do sense :)

    all above comments are true.

    always try to improve yourself and NEVER think you know it all.... no-one does

    and remember its the thrill of learning and getting better that keeps us trying ;)
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Sometimes I think I grow more stupid with the passing years.

    I tend to forget the lessons from the past till someone reminds me.

    So I always listen to critique and love to see edits. I don't understand all the modern 'stuff', but show me the corrected image and I can evaluate and figure a way to do it that I do understand.
     
  8. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    The more I learn and experience the more I understand how little I know..

    Ben:blushing:
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I wish my father were still alive so that I could tell him the saying was not quite right. He is still getting smarter. He didn't stop getting smarter, when I realized I didn't know everything after all. He keeps on getting smarter as I begin to realize things about the world around me.
     

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