Jul 292011

So you just uploaded on Flickr that great shot you took today. And surprise, after a few hours and a hundred views, there is only one comment (and your mother wrote it). What is then happening ? It seems that you are slowly sliding towards the “I am a misunderstood artist” category. Wait, and more seriously, here are a three reasons why your pictures are as not as good as you think:

I) You took it. It might seem obvious but the fact that you are the creator of a picture supposes an immediate bias. The picture is the result of your craft and action, and like a newborn son,  it can only be the prettiest.

The picture below has many technical faults. Nevertheless I know what it took to get it and therefore I like it. (click on pictures for high res)

II) A picture depicts a split moment in time. To the opposite of the viewers, you experienced the whole scene with its noises, smells, movement. You also witnessed the context of the picture , what happened before and after, and you probably enjoyed a 360 view of where it was taken. Inconsciously, your mind will take all these elements into account and recreate the full experience of that moment in time. It is not the picture in itself that looks good, but the memory of a moment in time.

The shot below was taken at the San Juan de Ulua in Veracruz. Unless you know the detailed history of this fort (the first built by the Spaniards when they conquest Mexico), the picture will be difficult to understand and appreciate.

III) The picture creation process emerges from a mix of your education, experiences and tastes. It is a very complex blend that ultimately represent your personal vision of the world. While you obviously abide to this vision, the majority of viewers simply might not.

The following picture is how I like to shoot  and depict the world; close, wide open and with a high vantage point.

Final word

… anyways, why do you need to have others dictate whether your picture is good or not ?

  10 Responses to “Why are your pictures not as good as you think they are ?”

  1. I like the article, its like the proverbial “arrow of truth”, but without the honey at its tip..

  2. Indeed, made me smile.

  3. Agree with you on this one. Photography, as with all art is 100% subjective. If you can satisfy yourself, then that should be a good starting point.

    btw… really loving your desat / +contrast / +clarity processing. I like your style.

    Keep them coming.

  4. I’ve always wondered about your your high vantage point, how do you achieve that? Always enjoy your photos everyday. Tsutomu

  5. His secrert is very simple :)
    But I also like the perspective given by the height, the more I look at your work the more I see why you advocated so strongly for depth (as in dimension) in one of your previous posts (the old blog, but I remember !)

  6. Are you trying to say that I’m not the best street photographer since Eric Kim? :) Great article with several salient points!
    Happy Hunting,

  7. In photography,, its your time,effort, equipment,composition,metering,timing and all other aspects.  It's yours alone. By posting it in FB,Flicker,Multiply etc,,,,,  you are just sharing it.  So whether they comment or not it does not matter. Just coz you're sharing something means they have to accept it, anyway. 

    • I guess we all have different goal in photography. Some don’t care what others think, some do, there is no real rule. But if you like on of your shots, don’t let others opinion challenge that.

  8. An interesting article.

    Funnily enough, I don’t think my photogarohs are anything but rubbish, and hence I don’t share any! I just think friends and family are being kind!

    Maybe one day I will take some that I think are worthy of sharing …

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