I look at a lot of photography.
One of the things I do in my own private mind is critique, and I’ve noticed that most photographers are pretty consistent in the quality of their output, and usually have the same “tells” in every image, and that made me ponder my own work and question my own way of seeing, shooting, and editing. Photographers see things differently, use different equipment, expose shots differently, and edit differently, resulting in images that can be identified by other photographers with an eye for photography. Of course, this is good. Consistent photography is predictable photography, and it’s one of the ways you can identify a mature photographer (artistically speaking) from someone newer and equally talented, but still exploring their own vision. My own output looks right to me, and looking through images this morning, I realized my work is predictable. It is the same. Sure, there are different faces and different subjects, but a lot of the design elements in my images are the same. My focal points are the same. Stuff I’ve done recently that I’m very proud of has strong similarities to stuff I was doing 2 years ago, 5 years ago. But is predictability always good? Consistency is good, but if my best image tomorrow isn’t any better than my best image yesterday, because I’m playing it safe, that’s bad. Predictability is sameness, and sameness doesn’t imply improvement, and that really scares the hectorbugs out of me because I have such a burning desire to be better every time I pick up a camera body.
I have fears and worries like anyone else. Like everyone else. The same way a vocalist is fearful of losing their ability to sing, photographers, especially me, worry that they will lose their ability first to “see” a setting, then to shoot it in the best way possible. I have a greater fear though, and it’s complacency. I’m scared to death of being in a rut one day, and not getting better through improved creativity. Not that a photographer can get more technically correct, but they can see different ways, identify different design elements, and see from a more original perspective. So, shaken in my complacency, I decided to take the afternoon off from productivity and go take some shots of whatever struck my fancy, but I wanted to do it differently, if not better. Sometimes I had to shake my head to reset myself, and sometimes I had to leave entirely to come back because my mind locked on the only way I saw the setting, but I really wanted to see differently that I usually do. The following images are from a few hours this afternoon of me trying to “see” differently, with a clear difference to me from the way I typically shoot anything. I also wonder whether it looks any different to anyone not intimately familiar with my body of work.
Do you notice anything different? If you do, please share.
As always, let me know if you need a Savannah Professional Photographer.