Judging Our Own Photos

My photos are not as good as I sometimes think they are. Probably, neither are yours. This statement is most powerful when our latest images are transferred from memory card to computer. The photo below, captured this weekend, is such an example. In this image I like how the subject is lit, as well as the sweeping lines of the flyover above. The three areas of green help hold the photo together. However, I am not sure if there is enough in this photo to keep my interest, only time will tell.

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Sony Awards

I am mid-way through choosing photos for the 2019 Sony Awards. Photos entered must have been captured during 2018. I started with looking at possible entries for the Portrait category. My initial selection of favourites came close to 40 portraits. However, after reflecting on these images, the selection was cut to 10 photos, and then 7 after some discussion. These 7 images were put forward for critique, and were finally slimmed down to two, maybe three images.

There are two other categories I will submit photos for; travel and street photography. For these categories I have 1-2 photos I feel are strong enough for an entry. This means that when I look through all my photos from 2018, there are only six photos I feel are powerful enough to make the cut. My Lightroom catalogue shows I have kept 5698 photos so far this year (and I spend a lot of time deleting weaker images). This means that when I am extremely critical of my own work, only 0.1% of my images leave me totally satisfied.

The First Viewing ‘Hit’.

How does this compare to when I have just come back from a photo shoot? This weekend I went to KR market in Banaglore. I spent two and a half hours taking photos and flagged 10 ‘keepers’. These keepers will probably make it onto Instagram, and one or two will be added to my G+ India collection. However, I suspect that over time none of these shots will make my favourite list. Looking at the photo below, I initially thought it was great. Now, three days later, I still think it is quite good. However, there is a lack of action on the right hand side which will ultimately lead it to going on the ‘not quite there’ pile (I.e. I can’t delete it but it is unlikely anything will ever happen to the image).

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Why We Overrate Photos.

It can take a lot of effort to carry out a day’s photography. In the case of my previous outing, I had left the house at 5.30 in the morning, battled with rain and had spent the day before studying off-camera flash techniques. I had a lot time invested in the photo shoot and it was natural for me to want the completed images to be fantastic. This led to an initial over evaluation of what was achieved. As time passes I will forget the pain of getting up at 5.30am, and the images will have to stand on their own merits. Inevitably as time passes I will grow to realise that they were not the set of photos poised to fire me into the world of elite Street Photographers.

Don’t Worry Too Much

As stated earlier, I am extremely happy with 0.1% of my photos. That does not mean the others are crap, they are just not the cream of the crop. I guess for competitions careful selection is a necessity. For Facebook and Instagram the standard does not need to be set so high. After all, who would get any followers if they only posted one in a thousand photos? In addition to this, remember, even the most iconic photographers are only remembered for a few pictures. After all, how many of Henri Cartier Bresson’s photos can you recall from memory?

Moving On

This train of thought leads me to a number of ways we can grow as photographers:

  1. Be more critical of our own work.
  2. Study the work of others to learn what makes a great photo.
  3. Delete more photos that are not good enough.
  4. Maybe leave photos alone for a while, and look at them after time has passed.

I can achieve numbers 1-3. However, I get an adrenalin rush when initially uploading photos. Maybe this is a little conceited, or maybe i’m just a photo junkie.

In the meantime, here is one of my 0.1%. I really like it and hope you do as well.

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A Personal Favourite.

 

Take Care and Keep Clicking, Chris

 

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End Note

Sony allows up to three images to be entered for the World Photography Awards. We all have until January to join the contest. Good luck!

 

 

Bar Girls and LadyBoys…

Pattaya

There are not many excuses a married man could have for visiting Pattaya, particularly the notorious Soi 6 and Walking Street. However, I had a camera, and I guess that makes it alright. Photography is a passport that often opens up places that you would not go to otherwise. I headed to Pattaya to catch the neon-lit evenings, alight with bar girls and punters and to photo the extremes of the early morning. Cities that party till dawn offer some of my favourite opportunities for Street Photography, and Pattaya was no exception.

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Massage?

Beware of Flying Objects…

Here are a few things I learned from my trip:

• Photographing without permission often ends in abuse and hurled objects.
• Ladyboys are more likely to let you photograph them than the women.
• Bar Girls don’t mind you taking photos when you purchase a drink.
• People notice you less at 5 am.
• I still prefer color, but night time shooting can lend itself to B+W.
• Five AM. is a tough call when you keep shooting till one in the morning.
• Five-axis stabilisation is necessary when you are trying to frame a shot while being dragged aggressively into a bar.

Enlightenment.

Enlightenment

Pattaya v Patong

I spent two nights in Pattaya, and during this time I managed to capture at least 30 publishable photos. As a location, Pattaya was tougher than Patong (in Phuket). Patong was a lot more laid back with more of a holiday atmosphere. Pattaya was edgier than Patong, and the people I photographed more aggressive. The exception to this was the ladyboys, who would often pull half a dozen poses before asking me if a would like to buy a drink. Purchasing drinks was an essential key to capturing images on the street. Most bar girls relaxed once I had a purchased a beer, and they relaxed even more with a drink in their own hands. Strangely, most guys were a little reticent to be captured on camera!

Black and White..

There is still something to be said for Black and White imagery. The shots below looked far too cluttered in colour. However, I think they work well in in monochrome. BTW, only one of the people below is a ‘real’ lady, it should be pretty obvious if you look hard enough.

 

In the next couple of days I will publish the full set of photos. In the meantime here is the link to the photos I took in Patong, most of which have already been published on G+ and on my Instagram account.

https://pagespics.com/patong-walking-street/

Thats all for now. Have fun and keep clicking, Chris

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A Family Album…

Something Different

Today’s blog is of my family holiday. Don’t worry, pagespics is not about to depart from it’s roots in Street, Travel and Documentary photography. However, these photos are a response to a challenge given to me by Birka Wiedmaier ,and is therefor the second challenge undertaken as part of the StepOut Collective.

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Pool

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