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08-29-2018, 10:22 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
True but understanding them and figuring out what one would work I think would help in increasing the number of not awful pictures. I have read articles that stating that sometimes not following the rules work but in general following them will produce better results with more keepers.
QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
Originally posted by normhead*
Given that for every one of these "rules" there's an award winning photo that breaks it, I tend to think of them as more after the fact explanation of why I like an image , more than objective criteria that can be used to describe why an image doesn't work. Some folks focus way to much on the negative.
True but understanding them and figuring out what one would work I think would help in increasing the number of not awful pictures. I have read articles that stating that sometimes not following the rules work but in general following them will produce better results with more keepers.
I think what often gets lost is that breaking the rules on its own isn't enough. Breaking the rules works, when breaking the rules adds to the story. It doesn't matter whether that's done intentionally or not, but if the artist is able to break in the rules in a way that adds to the story, breaking the rules can make a picture much more interesting. But few people have a natural eye for that (I certainly don't), so knowing the rules will help you break them when you need to, and allow you to take better photographs.

08-29-2018, 11:00 AM   #17
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Iím my own worst critic. I see what is published here and on Facebook photo sites and believe mine arenít good enough.

My family are my greatest encouragers.
08-29-2018, 11:12 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Interesting post. Like you, I dabble in Architecture so I am critical of my work, both Architectural and Photography!

The best you can do is post your photos. There's the critique section on this forum or you can use any other venue. You'll soon see what images of yours inspire others.
QuoteOriginally posted by othar Quote
alk abo
I guess Architecture studies leave their mark, you cant escape the inclusion of the whole subject concept they push on you in architecture. I am still reluctant at times to crop in on something to accentuate a certain detail of the figure.

---------- Post added 08-30-18 at 12:21 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Photogoof Quote
Yes, I can relate. I got into photography before the digital era, and had a wonderful time taking photos of anything and everything that caught my eye.

However, I got involved with one of nature's true wastes of space. This waste of space was always criticizing my work, but not in a loud, harsh way. The criticism was more subtle, and hence, far more effective. This shot didn't work because of the framing. That shot didn't work because of the lighting. And on and on. The words "You lack talent" were never spoken aloud, but that was the constant theme.

This waste of space was also a photographer, and was constantly singing the praises of their own work. Look at this! Look at that! See how talented I am?

It took years, but I finally realized: This person is not particularly talented. I found the person online, looked at some photos, and - wow, these are supposed to be good? I can do better than that. I let someone else decide how talented I was, and it was a huge mistake. I am finally enjoying photography again.
I have noticed that certain people are all about criticism, but not constructive criticism, more like bashing you about your mischievous work(in their opinion). That really sucks at the beginning, because you are really open to criticism. but over time you start to distinguish criticism from "asserting his/her own thoughts"
08-30-2018, 12:21 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Back in my craft show days, I noticed maybe one in 10 people came into my booth. Of them maybe one in ten buys something. So your fans are going to be maybe 1 in 100. You can make a very good living from that. What the other 99 think is irrelevant.

The trick in craft shows is to go to the bigger shows that have say 20,000 or more attendees. A show like that can make your year, given a decent level of competence and variety of subject matter.

Personally, I don't even think about the other 99. Talk to you friends.

Tess once tried to talk a guy out of one of my prints taken with the old K20D. It was a sunset, in her opinion, too much black space not enough dynamic range. The guy eventually cut her off and said "I'm taking that one." Most buyers couldn't care less about your technical evaluation of the image. All they care about is "do I like the picture/" And 99 times out of 100 their opinion is irrelevant.

Then there's the people who make basic technical mistake, blazing the saturation and contrast so much they lose detail, posting images that are out of focus or not colour balanced, (I actually do that all the time.)

So you can listen too much, or you can listen not enough, with severe consequences (like getting on my ignore list) at either extreme.

There's a balance to be achieved there. My theory is, if I like it 1 in 10 will like it will like it enough to take a look, 1 in 100 other people will like it enough to buy, and that's good enough for me. It's mistake to think you can take an image that everyone will like, or even a majority, or even 1%.

When I was a cabinet maker, I made myself a coffee table with a beautiful birds eye maple. I wanted the most out of it, so I took it to one of the best finishers in Toronto, a personally friend who's work I would never even try to emulate. I brought it home a put it in the front room. A local self taught cabinet makers, was at a party we through. He came over and said "you should let me refinish that for you?" I'd seen Hans' work and there was nothing he ever did that remotely approached the job my friend did on that table. You really have to look at who is giving you advice and why. Some photographers are just trying to set you up to sell you something, and will try and convince you the way they do things is better than the way you do. So he's one of the 99%, ignore him.

But if you can get to 1% like your work enough to buy it, you can make a living from it if you choose to.
I really like your point, one of the biggest frustrations is trying to please everybody. most people now are Instagram educated, meaning they have these 5 or 10 typical frames in their mind where they try to fit your pictures. People who judge based on artistic impulse are rare, and only a fraction of them will eventually like your work.

08-30-2018, 12:42 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
True but understanding them and figuring out what one would work I think would help in increasing the number of not awful pictures. I have read articles that stating that sometimes not following the rules work but in general following them will produce better results with more keepers.
The point they are trying to make about the rules resulting in more keepers is this, (generalized) For someone to start out, utilizing the basic rules of composition will generate more "pleasant" to view images, or those which we find natural to look at. With time and practice, those basic rules become ingrained within our image making, and we begin to understand them (provided we don't reach that point where we feel we know everything). Once the understanding sets in, we start to break the rules to create images that we find are interesting and/or pleasing.

As normhead pointed out, many times we'll use basic rules to create images that aren't readily apparent, except to the creator. When we stop trying to learn the trade, it becomes a backward regression.
08-30-2018, 02:03 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by shyrsio Quote
I guess Architecture studies leave their mark, you cant escape the inclusion of the whole subject concept they push on you in architecture. I am still reluctant at times to crop in on something to accentuate a certain detail of the figure.
True!! I never thought of it that way!
08-30-2018, 02:25 AM - 2 Likes   #22
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I guess a lot depends on what your goal is with photography. If your goal is to create great art then you may be frustrated. If your goal is to grow as a photographer and to "enjoy the journey" as you take photos then you will be a lot happier.

I really got into photography because my wife and I were travelling around and I wanted to remember the places we visited. Then we had kids and I wanted to take photos of them too. I have taken a lot of photos over the years and my skill level has grown -- I have few blurry photos now and my exposure is usually right -- but I can't say that I make art. I still enjoy taking photos and share them here.

I hope you'll do the same.
08-30-2018, 04:01 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
Once the understanding sets in, we start to break the rules to create images that we find are interesting and/or pleasing.
I'm still in the learning phase, I take fewer truly awful pictures but still very few really good or even great one.

08-30-2018, 07:42 AM   #24
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Yes, I certainly have the syndrome also -- but don't let it stop you from taking tons of pics and studying them for things you could do differently or better in the future. I almost always come back from a shoot and am initially disappointed with the results. There's always the "I shoulda done this" or "I could have used focus stacking here" etc. second guessing. One thing I've found that helps a lot is to let the images lay -- after your first edit to get rid of the obvious out of focus or bad images let the rest sit for a month or two and come back to them with fresh eyes free of the vision you had when you were taking the shots. You might be surprised at the results. I recently needed extra shots from a location I'd shot 20 years ago and went through my reject bins of film (yes, also a pack rat and have trouble throwing things out) from the location and found half a dozen shots that were really good -- I don't remember why I rejected them initially but with fresh eyes my perspective on these changed significantly ...
08-31-2018, 02:33 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by travelswsage Quote
Yes, I certainly have the syndrome also -- but don't let it stop you from taking tons of pics and studying them for things you could do differently or better in the future. I almost always come back from a shoot and am initially disappointed with the results. There's always the "I shoulda done this" or "I could have used focus stacking here" etc. second guessing. One thing I've found that helps a lot is to let the images lay -- after your first edit to get rid of the obvious out of focus or bad images let the rest sit for a month or two and come back to them with fresh eyes free of the vision you had when you were taking the shots. You might be surprised at the results. I recently needed extra shots from a location I'd shot 20 years ago and went through my reject bins of film (yes, also a pack rat and have trouble throwing things out) from the location and found half a dozen shots that were really good -- I don't remember why I rejected them initially but with fresh eyes my perspective on these changed significantly ...
I remember reading an interview with some old famous photographer(cant remember the name). When he was asked about the ratio of his good pictures vs his mediocre ones he said "if I have one nice picture for a roll of film I am a happy with that!". This was mind opening because we tend to think they all the famous photographers shoot are nice pictures, we don't see the "ugly" ones because they don't get published. you can google for unpublished pictures of the famous v-day kiss picture in New York, yes not all the series was great.

In the days of digital photography it is easy to loose yourself in spray and pray mode, but this just adds more work in review,selection, editing, therefore making the work more frustrating. Nevertheless, I guess what experience from people who made it in photography teaches us is that there will be a lot of worthless pictures for every worthy one, that doesn't mean you must be discouraged.
08-31-2018, 09:19 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by shyrsio Quote
Bottom line is: At a certain point of my journey in photography, my critiquing side got bigger than my creative one, and is constantly choking it. But on the bright side, my creative self is fighting back and is coming out somehow stronger and better, because of my own self critique.
I can certainly relate to the critiquing side outgrowing and bullying the creative side a bit. I'm not as creative as many, for sure. And my composition skills are an area I try often to improve. Every now and then I can capture with my lens what my mind sees as the photo I want. That's where I try to aim, most of the time. Sometimes I'm just snapping pics of the kids/family/wildlife to try to capture the quick moment. I have more patience for those composition mistakes (though I still want to stop making them) but I've been trying to get out and take some well-composed pics lately, and it's been tough. Tough to find the time, and tough to find the subject matter I want. In the meantime I decided to leverage my personality a bit, and since I'm pretty process oriented, I've started a list of images I'd like to create, or moments I'd like to capture. This list has evolved a bit over the last week, and I'm looking forward to delving into checking off some of the image ideas on it over the coming year Some are seasonal and require patience to wait for the moment, thus the yearlong timeline. I suspect if this is successful, I'll continue to develop the list and work from it as inspiration, tossing in random inspiration which finds me while I'm holding my camera, but isn't already on the list.

The composition elements image above just got saved to my files, as well. That may in fact be one of the best simplifications of composition I've yet seen. I've been incorporating some of these elements already, but having them well-defined and succinctly stated will make it easier. Some of this will likely end up on my list (i.e. - capture a repetitive image, capture an image diverging/exploding, etc.).
08-31-2018, 12:26 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by shyrsio Quote

I have noticed that certain people are all about criticism, but not constructive criticism, more like bashing you about your mischievous work(in their opinion). That really sucks at the beginning, because you are really open to criticism. but over time you start to distinguish criticism from "asserting his/her own thoughts"
In this case, it was a highly dysfunctional, toxic relationship. This person, whom I shall call Loser, was and is a narcissist, unable to have anyone around who is more intelligent or more talented. This is particularly amusing since most people are more talented and more intelligent than Loser.

Had Loser been a bit more intelligent, I might have thought that they realized their lack of these qualities. But Loser is about as smart as a soft drink that's gone flat.

So, people like Loser are always going to cloak their message in the guise of constructive criticism, but the message is clear: Nobody is allowed to be talented, except Loser.
08-31-2018, 12:52 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photogoof Quote
In this case, it was a highly dysfunctional, toxic relationship. This person, whom I shall call Loser, was and is a narcissist, unable to have anyone around who is more intelligent or more talented. This is particularly amusing since most people are more talented and more intelligent than Loser.

Had Loser been a bit more intelligent, I might have thought that they realized their lack of these qualities. But Loser is about as smart as a soft drink that's gone flat.

So, people like Loser are always going to cloak their message in the guise of constructive criticism, but the message is clear: Nobody is allowed to be talented, except Loser.

Let me guess, you have such a "friend" too?
08-31-2018, 01:11 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by othar Quote
Let me guess, you have such a "friend" too?
Not anymore! I still can't believe that I let Loser dictate what I photographed, when, where, and how. And then Loser would pick at everything until I doubted my ability.

I am now free.
08-31-2018, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photogoof Quote
In this case, it was a highly dysfunctional, toxic relationship. This person, whom I shall call Loser, was and is a narcissist, unable to have anyone around who is more intelligent or more talented. This is particularly amusing since most people are more talented and more intelligent than Loser.

Had Loser been a bit more intelligent, I might have thought that they realized their lack of these qualities. But Loser is about as smart as a soft drink that's gone flat.

So, people like Loser are always going to cloak their message in the guise of constructive criticism, but the message is clear: Nobody is allowed to be talented, except Loser.
Every field has people like this, which is unfortunate since good constructive criticism is one of the best ways to learn.
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