Firstly – an apology if this post is “more blog, less photo”, however I’ve noticed a few things recently that I feel I really should voice my (humble) opinion on.
There seems to be an interesting trend these days on “perfection” amongst photography. A photo is worthless unless it is technically perfect – the dynamic range of the image is totally optimal, not a single pixel is too in, or out, of focus, and the “rule of thirds” has been closely adhered to.
Also, as you may know, I like nothing more than making a sharp, contrasty image of some stunning scenery… I have the hyperfocal distances for my lenses worked out for all off the “sweet spot” apertures, and take a number of precautions with the aim of capturing the sharpest of images…
However… I always find my very very favourite shots (the top 0.5% or less) are quirky compositions that break the rules. They’re frequently badly focussed, have distracting elements, or are just plain “not mainstream”. They always make me smile, and for that reason I forgive their awful flaws. I get the feeling that I’m not the only person like this – we’re all human, we all have our own particular likes and dislikes!
So, where am I going with this? A lot of my recent posts have been landscapes of Scotland. I loved all of the shots I published, and was proud to display them. I thought they were “Good Photos”, and I’ve received lots of very positive feedback (many thanks to you all!). I’m just surprised that, looking over the last 2 weeks or so, I’ve not seen one that really makes me smile…
I think this was brought to a point when I was visiting my brother in his nice new flat (congratulations Stephen!), and took this “quick and nasty” shot of some of his kitchen jars. Immediately, I realised I’d captured a “smiler” shot, that for some reason caught my interest. I then spent at least 5 minutes repeating the shot, lining the jars up nicer, polishing the dust off them, even changing lens to get a nicer “bokeh” in the background. None of the subsequent shots were as good as my initial snap.
On an interesting, and slightly related note, you may enjoy Juan Buhler’s post about Flickr Critiques of an anonymous Cartier-Bresson print.