Why can't I enjoy my photos as much as I enjoy other peoples?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aaron Quinn, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. Aaron Quinn

    Aaron Quinn Active Member

    I've noticed a trend lately with myself. I will see photos taken by others that I enjoy seeing and like quite a bit but when I think back on photos that I have taken that are very similar, I don't like the ones I took.

    I even recall passing on taking some pictures all together because I know I won't like them but then I see one that is similar, taken by someone else, and I like it.

    Does any of that even make sense? What the heck is wrong with me...
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  2. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    That's an interesting observation, Aaron and I do know what you mean. I enjoy looking at all images but, as you observe with yourself, I often 'like' / appreciate ones that others have taken more than my own. I think one of the things I like about RPF is that you do get feedback on your images and maybe some sense of validation - is that the right word? And I certainly look upon images of mine that others have commented on favourably in a different light as it were (without wanting to compare myself to real artists, I suspect it might be a bit like the feedback a musician must get from the audience during a live performance - maybe Rob can provide an insight). I do have a few pictures that I have taken hanging on the walls, but when I look at the catalogue from which I could choose, the number is tiny (and there is a limit to the wall space after all!).

    Probably my own pictures that I constantly like the best are the ones taken deliberately with a theme or motif in mind rather than opportunistic ones. I guess in this context one can judge better how well one achieved an objective whereas when one looks at the images of others you don't need to make that judgement. For example, I am still pleased with these series:

    http://www.realphotographersforum.com/forum/threads/the-keeper-of-secrets.11188/

    http://www.realphotographersforum.com/forum/threads/a-windswept-land.1475/

    http://www.realphotographersforum.com/forum/threads/of-time-and-place.4794/


    It will be interesting to hear others' take on this.
     
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  3. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    I often find that returning to images weeks/months after I've shot them, I like them better than I did on first look on the day.

    No idea why - but I notice it again and again.
     
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  4. Dave Farnes

    Dave Farnes Well-Known Member

    It is not only me then, I do sometimes look at the wonderful images here and wonder why I even bother to try.

    Maybe it is just that we like to be positive and encouraging towards others while being more critical of ourselves?
     
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  5. Aaron Quinn

    Aaron Quinn Active Member

    Thank you all for the great feedback.

    I guess I'm not alone in this and need to participate more asking for critique on my photos.
     
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  6. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    I do wonder if, when looking at your own images, you're subconsciously comparing them to what you actually saw on the day - i.e. reality.

    When you look at someone else's, you have no such reference point - it's all upside
     
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  7. Dave Farnes

    Dave Farnes Well-Known Member

    That is a very good point. I spend many hours hill walking and never tire of enjoying the beautiful views; but turning those views into a good picture is a different matter.
     
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  8. Chris Bennett

    Chris Bennett Well-Known Member

    I find this subject really interesting, as I used to feel this way a lot of the time. Especially when I had the opportunity to see the images my wife may have taken at the same time, of the same subject (she is trained in photography).

    I now find myself looking at images I have made and, every now and then, thinking to myself "Where did that one come from? I don't take pictures that look like that"

    Additionally, I have come to realise that we both have very different sets of eyes and we draw different things from the exact same scene. When I looked at my photos before, I was seeing the same things I could see at the time I snapped them. (I hope you are following this OK). When I saw my wife's photos, I was seeing them through her 'filter', so it appeared new and different and often better because the newness of it surprised me.

    This is fascinating to me but it has made me realise that, actually, sometimes, I am able to successfully interpret my own impression of a scene really effectively. The ratio of great to poor or indifferent shots is 'somewhat variable' but who produces a masterpiece every time they poke at the shutter button?

    As others have said, sometimes, maybe it's good to take a step back, let some time pass and allow yourself to be surprised at just what you are capable of.
     
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  9. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Interesting again. I like the observation of looking at the world through someone else's filter.
     
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  10. Chris Bennett

    Chris Bennett Well-Known Member

    If you are looking in, @Aaron Quinn, I would really like to know how things have been working out with your photography since you posted this. Have your thoughts changed in the intervening time? Have you gone back to older images to reassess them at all?
     
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  11. Aaron Quinn

    Aaron Quinn Active Member

    I took quite a while off from photography after this. After a few recent events in my life, I have made a few changes and added a few positive things. One of the positives I added was moving on from the way I viewed my photos and actually came here just now to share a few taken today for critique as I am wanting to improve both my photography and outlook on my photography.

    I’m rambling but please, if you have time, take a look at my recent post and let me know what you think.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
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  12. Chris Bennett

    Chris Bennett Well-Known Member

    Fantastic news, Aaron! I shall take a look.
     
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