Who will give the best critique?
I have been thinking lately about how differently I am looking at photography over all, and also my own photography. Since gaining more knowledge in this field, I have become my own worse critique. Sometimes my son has to remind me of the fact that I am overthinking many aspects of a photograph and then I realised I needed to be somehow a bit more “chilled” about how I look at photographs. I think it is good to receive critique from someone who has knowledge of photography, but I also think it’s sometimes better to get the opinion from someone who looks at a picture for what it is and how they interpret it.
Looking at the whole picture
I go to watch ballet quite frequently and from having 2 children in the ballet world, I do have, although very limited, some idea about technical aspects of ballet. In spite of this, I watch performances and either like or dislike them, without being able to pin point technical detail such as a dancer’s “turnout” or leg line, correct execution of specific steps or overall technique. The whole scene plays out before me and , I only see the performance of the dancers and how the costumes and the choreography help to tell the story, yet I am sure if a ballet dancer, or ballet master is in the audience, they would be picking up on all the little mistakes or technical detail of the dancers.
Who would be able to give the best critique?
Someone who has the knowledge of ballet would of course be able to give constructive feedback about the finer details of the ballet. The same would apply to photography as well. Of course as an artist you would want to improve and learn from critique and this constructive critique is very important, but are these the only opinions that count? Should we only be learning from experts in the field?
I like this
I have recently read an article where the author wrote that just liking something is not good enough and should be taken with a piece of salt. I would have to disagree with that because I think in any type of art there are only a few audience members with real knowledge about that specific art but the rest of the audience are there to enjoy what they see. If “I like this” are the only words they use after seeing something, then that is also fine. We all do sometimes just feel something without really having the words to describe why we like it so much.
I want my photographs to be seen as stories. Real life stories. It’s in the moment, not planned, not set up or choreographed. The shadows are there, the dustbin in the background, and even when the natural light is not always that great.
The beauty is in growth
I heard the analogy about planting a seed that made me think of how it also applied to photography. When you plan a seed, you get excited when you see the first leaves appear in the soil. Every stage of the growing process of the tree is beautiful itself, and every stage is necessary for the tree to become fully grown.
This is a good way to look at the process of photography. Every stage is important, and every stage has it’s beauty and significance. Maybe the main focus should be the fact that a moment has been captured that would never happen again. A moment that also has it’s imperfections just as in real life. It’s the whole performance that has been captured and the little imperfections makes it somehow more realistic and in way part of the whole process.
Some of my not-perfect-at-all photographs. I love these because of the stories they tell. These were all moments that could never be recreated and that is the beauty of each one. It is what it is!
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Riboud