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…..