Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Over critical  (Read 4759 times)
stamper
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2389


« on: March 06, 2011, 05:28:15 AM »
ReplyReply

Does anyone find that they become over critical of their own work? I have been into photography for over ten years - a short time with respect to others - and I am striving to do better. One of the best bits of advice that I have read is to to be your own worst critic, which I have been practising. However recently I think I have got to the stage where I like less and less of what I am capturing. I like about 2% or 3% of my efforts. Is it possible to reverse this process and be more laid back or is this a sign of me "progressing"? Undecided
Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5717



WWW
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 07:13:41 AM »
ReplyReply

Stamper, Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. I've been doing photography as an art form for 60 years and periodically I fall into the kind of funk you're describing. I think at least two things are at work when that happens: (1) I'm covering the same ground I've covered many times before, and the freshness is gone, and (2) I've seen more and more good photographs by other photographers, so I'm judging my own work against an ever rising and more extensive standard.

But comparison with the work of others isn't as powerful a turnoff as comparison with my own work. I look at my own collections and sometimes feel I'm losing it. But then I remember that those collections represent what's left after extensive culling. If I really think about it I realize the percentage of keepers hasn't actually shrunk, which is not to say that's an encouraging thought.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I get so-so keepers practically every day, but if I average one picture a year upon which I'd stake my reputation, I'm doing well. I'd call your two to three percent pretty encouraging. I'd love to see more of your kind of critical self-analysis by posters on LuLa.
Logged

shutterpup
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 487


« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 09:06:10 AM »
ReplyReply

Let's face it. Most of what I shoot is so-so and in the long term, gets trashed. Some of what I shoot earns the initial "not so bad" and is kept for a while. And then there is the only occasional photo that makes me say "wow" when I see it on my screen; those are few and far between.

As I become more in tune with making photographs, the more I find that the stuff I once thought good gets trashed. I think it's growth.
Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4998



WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 09:24:08 AM »
ReplyReply

... I have got to the stage where I like less and less of what I am capturing. I like about 2% or 3% of my efforts...

No problem... As long as you keep showing us only those 2-3%.Smiley

The problem starts when people start asking us to find those keepers in the proverbial haystack for them.
Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
Steve Weldon
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1441



WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 09:55:07 AM »
ReplyReply

Does anyone find that they become over critical of their own work?

I think it's natural to look over our work, find areas for improvement, and effect change.  Usually we call this refinement, or experience.  And as the saying goes, good judgment is a result of experience, most of that bad.. 

Logged

----------------------------------------------
http://www.BangkokImages.com
stamper
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2389


« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011, 10:29:53 AM »
ReplyReply

Thom Hogan has something interesting to say about this.

http://www.bythom.com/

The bit about what others think about your choices.
Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4998



WWW
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2011, 11:33:17 AM »
ReplyReply

Thom Hogan has something interesting to say about this.

http://www.bythom.com/

The bit about what others think about your choices.

The provided link is a home page... which article you are actually referring to? A specific link would be helpful.
Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
degrub
Guest
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 12:13:54 PM »
ReplyReply

it is in the text just below the main picture, i think.

Frank
Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4998



WWW
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2011, 12:40:59 PM »
ReplyReply

it is in the text just below the main picture, i think.

Frank

You are right. Thanks!

Having read it, I can't say I agree with Tom totally (of course Wink).

While he is right saying "... it's easy to become fixated on something that speaks out to us (and maybe has a hidden story or message that others won't see or understand) and miss all the things that aren't right about an image..., it is much more likely we would pick images others wouldn't, than it is likely we would miss images others wouldn't. When you have a winner, you know it. When you have loser, you still might like it, for reasons known only to you (and maybe few). Me think.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 08:58:58 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
feppe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2907

Oh this shows up in here!


WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2011, 01:49:24 PM »
ReplyReply

No problem... As long as you keep showing us only those 2-3%.Smiley

The problem starts when people start asking us to find those keepers in the proverbial haystack for them.

That's exactly right. Visit random Flickr photostreams and you'll quickly start to appreciate what a difference it makes when somebody else (usually the photographer) does the editing for you. There's so much photography online these days that it's impossible for us as viewers to be the editor.
Logged

bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2662


WWW
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2011, 03:43:43 PM »
ReplyReply

Forget ruminating self cricism.  Work that sells is good.  Work that doesn't sell is beside the point.  No other form of criticism is needed.  One's creative muse is best validated by the extent to which it successfully excites other people, for which there is no better truth-test than a credit card swipe.  The transfer of excitement is art enough for me.

Yes I know those are loutish words.  But I've been a lot happier since I have adopted that viewpoint, partly because it results in increased sales and more time to do photography.
Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4998



WWW
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2011, 05:41:38 PM »
ReplyReply

...Yes I know those are loutish words...

Yes they are. Totally. By that logic, the most valuable cultural product humanity has come up with in the past several thousand years would be... Grand Theft Auto... racking up over one billion in sales.
Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2662


WWW
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2011, 07:10:03 PM »
ReplyReply

By that logic, the most valuable cultural product humanity has come up with in the past several thousand years would be... Grand Theft Auto... racking up over one billion in sales.

I think GTA is as appalling as a Goya painting, and very similar in spirit.  Those 1X10^9 sales suggests it has some deep resonance with the human soul.  There is some terrible truth lurking there.  Scary.  I suspect The Future will remember it as an icon of our age.

To put my theory of criticism in sweeter terms, artistic self-flagellation is for the birds.  Eschew the whole artistic anguish phase, it's something you get over anyway and might as well just skip the whole pointless exercise.  Let the popularity of your art be your critical feedback engine.  Concentrate on doing art that connects with your audience.  This will free you to do more work and will make life more enjoyable.  Unless you are masochistic and wish to project that in your art.  Is that prettier?
Logged
tokengirl
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 360



« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2011, 07:21:15 PM »
ReplyReply

I like about 2% or 3% of my efforts.

When I studied photography in college, my professor was of the opinion that we should expect one good photo from a 36-exposure roll.  So you're right on track.  Grin
Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7443



WWW
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2011, 07:23:20 PM »
ReplyReply

"...Yes I know those are loutish words..."

Yes they are. Totally. By that logic, the most valuable cultural product humanity has come up with in the past several thousand years would be... Grand Theft Auto... racking up over one billion in sales.
Thanks for setting this straight, Slobodan. I was beginning to think the Way to Great Art was through Cute Kittens in Teacups, or Hard-Core Porn, both of which sell much better than anything I can produce.

Eric
Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
feppe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2907

Oh this shows up in here!


WWW
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2011, 07:43:20 PM »
ReplyReply

I think GTA is as appalling as a Goya painting, and very similar in spirit.  Those 1X10^9 sales suggests it has some deep resonance with the human soul.  There is some terrible truth lurking there.  Scary.  I suspect The Future will remember it as an icon of our age.

I'm sure similar lamentations were heard of Dante's Divine Comedy at the time of its release...

And I'm sure there is a special place in hell for people who compare GTA to Dante's work Tongue
Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4998



WWW
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2011, 07:46:06 PM »
ReplyReply

... There is some terrible truth lurking there.  Scary...

True. Come to think of it, some of the most successful products in human history are, for instance, bubbly sugared water and gum that bubbles...go figure.

Quote
... Let the popularity of your art be your critical feedback engine.  Concentrate on doing art that connects with your audience.  This will free you to do more work and will make life more enjoyable.  Unless you are masochistic and wish to project that in your art.  Is that prettier?

That is certainly a valid choice. The problem with that approach is that every type of art (or "art") will find its buyers. "Cute kittens in teacups" do sell, probably better than landscapes. Nuclear-saturation landscapes probably sell better than moody b&w ones. But how many of those that sell better you can shoot before you puke?
Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2662


WWW
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2011, 07:46:51 PM »
ReplyReply

And I'm sure there is a special place in hell for people who compare GTA to Dante's work Tongue

It's right next to the place for self-flagellating photographers.

And Dante was an opportunistic, money-grubbing, sensationalistic hack.  An altogether OK guy.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2011, 02:45:32 AM »
ReplyReply

I believe that this has slipped into cloud cuckoosville.

To make a direct link between the quality of any art and sales is so crass that I am convinced that it is being made very much tongue-in-cheek. If anything, the lowest common denominator is more at work within the 'artistic' side of life than anywhere else. Consider the written word as in popular press; blockbusters as in movies; print sales as in general wall-art outlets.

But then, I know some of this was in jest - I simply have to read again the reference to the 'appalling' Goya to be reassured.

Low print sales volumes bother me not in the least. Most of my work was on commission, anyway, and what I've done since has been for my own satisfaction. To hell with any other opinions than my own.

Frankly, to be in this business for anything other than self-satisfaction is insane.

Rob C
Logged

Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7443



WWW
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2011, 08:55:42 AM »
ReplyReply

Frankly, to be in this business for anything other than self-satisfaction is insane.
Amen to that, Rob!

Eric
Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad