How do you know when your photo is good enough? When do you stop working at making your image better? Being a good photographer means that you are never satisfied and that you are always looking for either a better image of the same subject of searching for another photo opportunity that will help you tell your story with more impact. Being a good photographer means that you don’t just “point and shoot”.
The students in my workshops will tell you that I am a stickler about composition, background, lighting and moment. But not just for my students. No matter how good my photos are, I can always find something that I could have done better.
In order to grow photographically, you have to be self-critical. On a more simple level, just because you photographed something doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shoot it again, (and maybe yet again) if you have the opportunity.
This past fall I spent three weeks in the stunning city of Istanbul, Turkey where I taught two, back to back workshops. I arrived in the city a week early in order to scout every location where we planned to shoot. Although I returned to these locations with my students many times during both workshops and took photos of the same places each time I was there, each image is different. The light, atmospherics and angles changed from day to day. The subjects and colors were never the same. My curiosity about the locations also changed.
It is always better to return from a trip and to agonize over picking which photo you like the best, rather than to get home and lament the fact that your pictures are not as good as you like; even though your friends (who are not photographers) will compliment you images as masterpieces.
Here are examples of a few of the most popularly photographed Mosques in Istanbul. Notice the differences. Is there a “best” image or a more evocative image? Is there an image that is too “static” or one that imparts energy. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
And on that note, remember that if you plan on putting your photos into a stock library, it is good to have variations of well-known places. Clients all have specific requests and needs and your favorite image may not be theirs.
For more photos of Istanbul please go to www.irablock.com/Editorial/Istanbul/.
Love this post. Could not be more true.
Your work is amazing, Ira.