What have you done for me lately?

I was looking at another HDR photographer’s blog today, and surprised at how “average” his most recent blog post shot looked.  I was about to make a comment, and thought better of it, but I did notice that someone else had already noted as much to the photographer.  Considering that this photographer’s work is usually the epitome of HDR work, who the heck did I think I was to even consider, for a moment, posting anything negative about his photo.  Then it dawned on me: we are, almost always perceived to be only as good as our last work.  Sad, really, considering how difficult it is to produce compelling work day, after day, after day, on a daily blog.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could be more like the artists of old, producing perhaps only one masterpiece per year (or at least one really good photograph per month).  That would sure take the pressure off and, I believe, raise the level of work we see out there.  Truth be told, that ain’t gonna happen!  We are a more, more, more society.  Publish or perish, right.  Well, here is my latest, and I’ll warn you right now it is NOT anything more than average work.  But, I feel compelled to put it out there, because… well, I need a post for today!  Be gentle on me, or not!  I have a thick skin, and I actually love and welcome constructive criticism (Where is a dang chair in the foreground when ya need one?!?).

Betty Davis Eyes

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I’ve found myself in the same position before – wondering why someone who generally produces such great work would post a picture that seems to much below their usual standard. One reason, as you not, is likely that they threw something together quickly just to get a post in for the day but another reason comes to mind too. Since people’s tastes vary so enormously, just because I think a given image has very little merit doesn’t actually mean that it is universally regarded as rubbish. The photographer may love the show as may many of his or her viewers.

I had a great example of this a couple of years ago when my photographer mother-in-law accompanied me to a show which I had some prints in. At the end of the evening, we compared notes and realised that, although we both loved the show, our favourite and least favourite images were exact opposites. My favourite 3 were her least faviourite 3 and vice-versa.

Hi Dave! Thanks for the comment. What you said certainly makes sense, and I suppose there was someone out there the photographer was catering to, because I do recall some folks had made positive comments. Looking at the photograph objectively (is that even possible), however, it was not up to the photographer’s typical caliber of work.

Jacques, Why do you waste your time posting such meaningless, mundane images? Your lack of vision, composition and technical processing skills astounds me!

Of course … you know I’m kidding. This is (as usual) a great offering from you. I love the processing and the simplicity of the composition.

As to the merits of your post, I agree.

Publishing images that are not up to our own personal standards can be enlightening. As Dave points out, your own least favorite images may surprise you in its popularity.

Hey Bob. You’re right. I need to bump it up! What the heck was I thinking making you all suffer through this stuff. I’m worthless! Self flagellation is required!

Oh jeez Jaques,
Now I’m really going to be self concious about the images I put up on my blog 🙂 Sometimes I’ve had second thouhts about posting certain images but went ahead and put them out there anyway and a few of them had been unexpectedly well received. It seems like the level of feedback varies depending on where the work is posted also. People may be less inclined to give constructive criticism on a personal blog or a twitter post as opposed to a phtography forum.
Anyway, I like your “average” image here. It has a simple complexity that may take more than a few seconds to notice. I find interesting that the eyes complement the windows and the mystery of the door opening makes you wondor what is in the next room. Also the play of light against the graffiti as well as the various textures of the walls,floors and ceiling.

Hey there, Jay! Many thanks formthe very thoughtful response. I think it is really difficult to keep one’s game up, but we have to try, right? I’m always looking for amshot, even when I don’t have the camera with me. That way I keep my mind thinking about composition, and I can store the site in my mind for a another day’s visit (with camera) when the light is favorable.

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