22 Things you can do to improve your photography

posted August 23rd, 2012
I came across this article a little while ago,

http://improvephotography.com/1415/21-things-you-can-do-today-to-change-your-photography-forever/

I have started working through the list, not in any particular order. A couple of days ago I printed out 75 of what I thought were my best images, I spent hours sorting them into the order from what I like to what I don't like. I then invited my non photography loving friend over for her to sort out and give me feedback. What she liked was totally different from me, the point is her feedback was not as glowing or as motivating as what I hoped it would be. Don't get me wrong she wasn't horrible about it, and she did have a lot of positive to share too. If you want straight up honest critique, this is the way to go.

Although I feel quiet lost now.
posted August 23rd, 2012
Thank you for sharing it, I think the advises are very good. Some of them I've done, but most of them I haven't - they sound so challenging! :)
posted August 23rd, 2012
@velina you're very welcome :) have fun!
posted August 23rd, 2012
thank you.
posted August 23rd, 2012
my biggest advice to you would be that art is subjective ~ not everyone will like the same thing ~ don;t be too put off my your friends not so motivating feedback :-) ... I am just off to have a browse at the site
posted August 23rd, 2012
Great article! Thanks for posting.
posted August 23rd, 2012
Really enjoyed reading this article and will enjoy meeting some of the challenges... thanks so much for sharing....♥
posted August 23rd, 2012
thanks for sharing.....more things to learn.... :)
posted August 23rd, 2012
Great post! Thanks for sharing!
posted August 23rd, 2012
Yikes, I think it might take me another year to be brave enough for all of those. Thanks for sharing
posted August 23rd, 2012
@tracywilliams Tracy, you are soooo talented and creative. I don't think there would be much negative anyone could say about your work or even much they could tell you to improve as your work is already so amazing and awesome! I marvel at the things you post ;) Thanks for posting the link I will have a look see, as I am sure I will learn lots. THX
posted August 23rd, 2012
Haha, I have had similar situations,
My hubby is a graphic designer and I know when I ask for his opinion I may not get an answer that I want. I'll show him a photo that made the popular page here and he'll say its 'ok'
I think we are a little spoilt here with all the lovely comments and maybe led to believe we are better than we are. The general public also appreciates different things to us. They will see a 'pretty picture' where we see composition and dof and the work that goes in.
Never take opinions personally is my motto, but ask why do you like it/not like it? Negative feedback is great for growth.
posted August 23rd, 2012
All good ideas but i would have to questions how long it takes to do them as I have done most of them and I am either a bit slow or he is super quick... :)

Yes art is very subjective. I know my own tastes have changed over the years and I also know my friends and extended family have not changed with me..... So if I show them a photo like this:



they would really freak out as it is not a real photo (well it is just a small amount of photoshop).

For me it what I like but for business I have to please the clients. that is why I have 365... Its my creative outlet as I explained on a Guest blog post I did for a international fashion and photographer trainer;

http://www.frankdoorhof.com/site/2012/03/guestblog-brendan-maunder/

If you dont extend yourself and do things that are out of your comfort zone you will never grow, so dont take it to heart and live for the moment as it will be gone way tooo soon...

@shirljess @tracywilliams
posted August 24th, 2012
Great post, thanks for sharing. As I was reading it just now I saw the post about time lapse and I just tried that last week and I say it is cool. My son convinced me so just had to try it. I had done it again last night and can't wait to see how it look.
posted August 24th, 2012
Thanks for sharing this. Lots of good ideas
posted August 24th, 2012
@tracywilliams -- Tracy, at one point in my 365 journey I thought about bailing out. I couldn't understand why what I considered my best shots got little attention or no positive feedback. I started to second guess my photos and have doubts about my work. That was not a place I wanted to be.I quickly snapped out of it and came to the conclusion that you have to be true to yourself as an artist. Do what your heart tells you is a good shot. If you don't you're sunk.

I think I've done some of my best work this month. Very gew of my shots got any Favs, but that doesn't change the fact that I am very pleased with where I am as a photographer and where I'm going. You have to be your own critic and cheerleader. You know when your shots are good and when they stink or can be better deep down inside. Nobody else's opinion really matters. That said, I'm going to give my opinion anyway in stating that i think you are one of the most talented and creative photographers on the 365.
posted August 24th, 2012
@tracywilliams I agree with Crom and his last sentence in particular!
Your stuff is amazing, and I can only think that perhaps your friend thought you wanted her to criticise rather than critique your work (there is a very fine line between them from my pov).
I have rarely asked for critique here and get so many problems and criticisms in my daily life that I love posting on 365 where everyone is so positive. It's easy to find fault, and so much harder to make a great shot, which is what you manage to do every day :) x
posted August 24th, 2012
@cromwell aww thanks Cromwell :)

@filsie65 Thanks Phil, my friend was very nice about her point she didn't criticise at all. She was honest and nice about her critique. I guess the exprence just left me feeling like reality was placed at the table and I have a lot of work to do if I really want to make money off this one day
posted August 24th, 2012
Great list, thanks for sharing!. I did already do lot of them. Will use it as a checklist and see if I can complete the list before my 365 adventure stopt medio December.
posted August 24th, 2012
@tracywilliams I lost all my interest, confidence and motivation recently having taken loads of (what I thought were good) photos for the 'Rusted' theme. I always try to take and tag a few photos for the weekly 365 theme but this time I really thought I was in with a chance of the top five. Nothing. Never has been. Didn't pick up my camera for days.
Anyway, I've got over the sulks and tried new techniques and realise that everyone has the right to like or not like a photo. Sometimes the top five that Ross selects are way down in my preferences for the week. It's more important to enjoy your photography and get a kick out of new ideas than to impress other people. So cheer up and keep clicking!
posted August 24th, 2012
@julieco never let the 5 photos selected for the weekly themes have an affect like that on you! That is ONE person's opinion, and I agree, I generally browse all the photos submitted for the weekly theme and my top 5 are almost never one of the finalists. As @cromwell mentioned earlier, you have to be true to yourself. Do what YOU are passionate about. Just because you don't find an audience on 365 doesn't mean there aren't a ton of people out there that won't find one of your images to be stunningly beautiful. I have now sold 2 images (the second being to a greeting card company) and the 2nd image I sold hardly got any comments and I think only 1 fav (or none) here on 365.

Pursue photography because you love it and are passionate about it. Don't pursue it to make some strangers on 365 happy or to make Ross happy. Your followers will respect your work more when you post something that is truly yours - your concept, your set up, your perspective, your creative eye.... does that make sense?
posted August 24th, 2012
@tracywilliams tracy, you are an artist, and a lot of your portraits are something I can easily picture in a magazine and in various print ads. I think you even have enough portraits in your project to do a show in a gallery. I'm confident that you could pull off a great show with your work. 'nuff said.
posted August 24th, 2012
i really enjoyed reading this! thank you!
posted August 25th, 2012
Tracy... first, I'd like to start off by saying that I cannot imagine subjecting a friend, especially one who wasn't into photography and/or art, to having to look at 75 of my photos, especially with me there, especially with me expecting them to comment / critique them... and much as i love photography, i'm not sure i'd want anyone to ask that of me ;p

I think that asking a non photographer / non artistic person - well, you get what you get! Especially if they're kind of "meh" about your stuff in the first place - being "meh" about a piece of art says nada about the quality of that piece of art...

For example, suppose someone asked me to look at and comment on 75 of their portraits (75!!!!)... now, i think portaits are lovely and i am very impressed by many of the ones i see here... but i don't "do" portraits and i really don't understand much about the technical aspects of them and it is extremely unlikely that i would buy them to have around my house... so if i was looking at 75 by the same person all at once, i could probably divvy up into piles of ones i liked and ones i didn't like as much, but i seriously doubt i could be intelligent about them after looking at the 10th or 11th... someone with some technical knowledge will at least be able to see and critique lighting choices and challenges, and admire your skill at getting the best of your model... but me, by the 20th in i'd be commenting more on the model than on the image...

as for your stuff... i think it is really COOL... if you told me you were putting together 75 of your best and selling it as a coffee table book i'd order one for myself and a bunch more to give as gifts... but if you asked me to look AND comment on those photos while you stood over me, again, i doubt i'd be able to be intelligent after the first handful... :D

ps - i have a few of my photos hanging in my cubicle at work... two of them made the pop page here... but no one at the office has even mentioned them...

posted August 25th, 2012
@jsw0109 Yes, and thanks for your time. What you said - it all makes sense - I just need to develop a thicker skin! Worrying about what others think has always been a bit of a problem. I totally love photography, spend way more time on it than any other interest. I guess we all thrive on praise...
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