My old work isn’t that bad, but what about my new work

I have a fever of 103 f and am supposed to be resting – that may or may not relate to this post.

Read this:

Makes me think because often recently I find that nothing I have been shooting has really come out very interesting, whereas I actually had more worthwhile pieces years ago.

Maybe part of that is just being busy this past year, with the new baby and work there isn’t much time for anything else.

Yet it is worrying when I think I should be “improving” to find that I go through the whole 2009 catalog and find maybe 4 shots I like. I am sure I did “better” in earlier years.

So why is that. It could be that my taste has changed and I’m getting more selective, which could be seen as a good thing. Or it could be that because I’m shooting less I’m really doing less good work. Or, and this is the worry, maybe I’m thinking about it too much – certainly I’m thinking (and reading) more than I’m shooting and that is cramping me somehow. Putting an (unnecessary) level of selectivity on top of my choices of what to shoot.

Now that connects to another thought:

Which basically boils down to “don’t put out pictures which are not your best”, and I would extend that to “which you are proud of”.

It connects for me because I rarely post or show to anybody my photographs because typically nobody likes them (I don’t have that problem of getting uncritical praise from friends and family, basically *nobody* likes my work), yet recently I saw some people around me on facebook post some snaps of a recent dramatic sunset.

Now I had noticed that sky also and taken a few snaps so I thought hey I’ll post one too, just as a community thing, not thinking about it as “a photograph”. Yet of course I take them into Bridge, select the best two, go into ACR and tweak them. A little shift of the WB brings out the dramatic colours nicely and so I go and post that.

“Wonderful picture” people say, you’re such a great photographer I hear. I should be pleased right? But I’m not, it’s a sunset pic of all things with some cheap trickery to make it look like a postcard. Not at all the sort of photography I want to develop, or be known for.

So I’ve shot myself in the foot a little, not bad but it’s annoying.

But but… two years ago I would have selected that image for my portfolio whereas today I wouldn’t touch it.

So my friends like my photographs that I don’t like. What do you do, change your photographs or change your friends?

3 Replies to “My old work isn’t that bad, but what about my new work”

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    crazyoctopus says:

    I say don’t change either; the hyper-realists/tweakers/photoshopers are just graphic designers claiming to be photographers.

    And as far as what to show others and what to edit out, well I say do what makes your eyes gasp with happiness. If it makes other eyes happy, fantast! Dwell less on the lack of peoples response, and more on the slap of that mirror stealing moments of life.

  2. Notice: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/diyphoto/public_html/wp-content/plugins/subscribe-to-comments/subscribe-to-comments.php on line 590
    GregJ says:

    Well – the photo is in the eyes of the critic. There are multiple thoughts on what makes a photograph and what turns one into art.

    For me it goes back the traditional darkroom with a qualifier. If I could do it in the traditional darkroom, then I can do it in the digital darkroom and have it remain a photograph. Of course, if it involves the creation of a collage or in changing the photograph so much that it no longer represents the original image, then it becomes art.

    And that is ok too. My nephew’s photographic direction is toward the art world and therefore he takes his photographs and turns them into art. Yesterday I wondered about the bad images, and in today’s digital world I crave to find that one great image in the shoot.

    Oh well, I can live with that.

  3. Notice: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/diyphoto/public_html/wp-content/plugins/subscribe-to-comments/subscribe-to-comments.php on line 590
    raymond says:

    GregJ, indeed so this is each man for himself I think. I used to have very strong feelings about this, but the more I study the less I know! Photo history opened up a new world for me as well. These debates have gone on with little change for over a hundred years and a lot of interesting things have been written which are well worth reading today.

    Reading 19th Century Victorian debates that are basically about how much Photoshop is permissible before something is not a photograph any more was quite an eye opener for me at least!

    In the end we all have to draw our own personal line in the sand, or line on the emulsion, or glass plate, or tin plate or silver plate , or indeed bitmap, as the case may be!

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