What other People Think !

There are photos you take and love, and will always love, and there are photos you take that you love and you can’t understand why no-one else does – and then there are the photos you hate, and would delete because, you have assumed that because you don’t like them, no one else will.

The photograph below, I took last year using a 10 stop filter.  I had one, and hadn’t used it for a long long time.  Mostly I forgot I even owned it.  Then towards the end of 2017 I went to an RPS day in Nottingham, and one of the speakers gave a talk about the images you could achieve with long exposures in the daytime.  I went home, got the filter out and set off to see what I could do.

I went out with some friends, and we shot all sorts of things, but overall I wasn’t very happy about any of the images I got.  On the other hand, I wasn’t terribly sure just what it was I was really looking for.

A few other people said they liked the shot, but I just couldn’t see it.

Later – I was reading a book by celebrated photographer Jay Maisel.  In it – he talked about a photograph of his own that he had taken and didn’t like.

He discussed it with a friend of his and the conversation went something like this

He said “I love that shot”

I said “I hate you, I’d just decided to eliminate it”

“Why would you do that?”

“Because it isn’t what I had in mind when I shot it”

He said “But I’m not hampered by your history and intentions. I love that shot”

What he was seeing was an end result with no concept of what Jay had set out to achieve, and so came at it from a completely fresh perspective.

We need to think of our image making the same way – just because somthing doesn’t fit our immediate ‘wants’ doesn’t mean to say it’s a bad image.

I enter the British Photographic Exhibitions,  and other photography competitions, but in the end analysis, who am I really trying to please?  Me or a remote judge?  The answer is ME, and if the judge likes it to, then that’s a bonus.

Take photographs, enjoy being outside, or inside.  Enjoy the solitude that image making can give you – enjoy the companionship too.  Then, listen to what other people say about your images before you throw them in the bin…..


Double Exposures !

There’s an old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  This runs true in all sorts of ways.  We’ve all made mistakes with people, at job interviews, with good friends, and sometimes you get the chance to go back and fix your mistakes – but not always.

I think it’s similar to when you make photographs – but you do usually have two chances.  Once when you take it, and once when you edit it.  There’s also the time when you take something, bring it home, and surprise even yourself.  You haven’t seen what you’ve got at the time you took it.  Whether it be because you didn’t look at the image on the back of the camera, or because you just didn’t  ‘see’ it.

So the second chance comes into play.  You didn’t just randomly delete it whilst you were out (NEVER delete anything whilst you’re out!), and now you can edit.

When I took the shot below – I was playing with the double exposure function of the camera… We were in a shopping centre, and security was popping around – you all know what it’s like – I’m on private property doing something that security doesn’t like or allow – anyway, so I was sneaking photographs.  Camera low down – and just shooting what ever took my fancy.

When I got home, I had this….


Unlooked for and unplanned.  I had no idea what I had.

Most of what I took I deleted, but this is the one I liked the best.  Keep shooting.