Are you the best judge of your Photography? (The story of an image)

Do you ever find yourself questioning your own photography skills? As a photographer, you are often your own biggest critic. It can be difficult to determine if the photos you’ve taken are truly your best work. However, the truth is, you are the best judge of your photography. You are the one behind the lens, capturing a moment in time that speaks to your unique perspective and artistic vision. In this blog, we will explore the importance of self-reflection in photography and how you can trust your own judgement to create stunning and meaningful images. We will delve into the story behind an image and how it reflects your personal growth as a photographer. So, let’s dive into the world of photography and uncover the true power of your own judgement.

Are you the Best Judge of Your Photography? (The Story of an Image)

Are you the Best Judge of Your Photography? (The Story of an Image)

The Extinction Rebellion Protests

As artists, we always assume that we have the best take on our own work. It came out of our heads in the first place, so we assume we know exactly what it is and what it’s meant to communicate to others. However, let me tell you about an image I took a little while back that taught me that that’s not always necessarily true.

A few years back, I was in London taking some photographs of the Extinction Rebellion protests. They had blocked off Waterloo Bridge so no traffic could go on, and they’d set up tents and stores, and even a giant skate ramp.

The Girl on the Bridge

A few of us were milling around taking photographs, trying to document the scene when my friend Josh, who was with me at the time, got a text alert on his phone to say that there was a big crowd gathering outside of Parliament and the police were on their way and arrests were imminent.

We decided to dash across as quickly as we could. We got off the bridge, ran down South Bank, passed the London Eye and the London Aquarium, and turned right to cross over Westminster Bridge. The protesters had blocked off this bridge as well, so no traffic was coming across, but there were loads of people milling about, and we were running trying to get across to Parliament Square.

As we crossed the middle of the bridge, I turned over and noticed a girl looking over the railings into the water of the Thames. She was dressed in an interesting way, she had an interesting coat and dress and her boots, and she was also wearing a set of wings on her back. I still had in my mind that my purpose was to get to Parliament Square to photograph the protests and the arrests. This wasn’t an important photograph, but I thought I’d just grab it anyway.

Discovering the Image’s Potential

I wasn’t even sure if my exposure would be correct, and I thought it’s just a grab image; it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work out, it’s not important. I barely broke stride, I slowed down for one step, lifted the camera, took the shot, and carried on running. Truth be told, I forgot about that image completely until I got home later and started to review the images from the day.

The Book Cover

Amidst all these shots of a sort of carnival and chaos of everything that was going on, there was this one shot, this peaceful moment of someone standing on a bridge, dressed quite interestingly, looking down into the water. I thought, “Well, there’s something to it.” I gave it a quick edit, threw it online, and people seemed to like it, but that was it for me, and I just moved on.

Fast forward to a year later, and I’m sat in lockdown putting the finishing touches on my book, “The Meaning in the Making.” The text was pretty much locked down, and it was time to lay this book out and design the front cover. My friend Vlad, who’s a talented designer, had taken on the job of designing this book for me.

Recognizing the Image’s Value

We were talking about ideas for the cover, and I had some ideas around maybe something kintsugi-based because it sort of fit the theme of the book. In this discussion, Vlad at one point said to me, “But what about that photograph you took a little while ago of the girl on the bridge?” He had to send me a link to that shot because I wasn’t really sure what shot he was talking about.

Your Perspective vs. Others’ Perspectives

Suddenly, I saw it. I realized that the context and the chaos of that memory for me had been clouding out what that vision actually was for somebody who saw it for the first time. Someone seeing that image for the first time would see a girl standing in a quiet moment of reverie alone on the bridge. They didn’t know about the crowds that surrounded me on the day, and the light looked soft; it might be early morning, and overhead looms the houses of Parliament.

Every single one of their perspectives adds a richness to our work that goes beyond the very narrow singular intention we set for ourselves. Very simply put, I couldn’t see the peaceful mood in my own shot because the memory and the emotions that I’d attached to that image from the day were so frantic and chaotic. The truth I learned is this: we can easily get too close to our own work.

FAQ: Are you the best judge of your Photography? (The story of an image)

Q: Can I trust my own judgment when it comes to my photography?

A: Ultimately, you are the best judge of your own photography. You have a unique perspective and vision that should guide your creative decisions.

Q: How can I improve my ability to judge my own photography?

A: Seek feedback from other photographers and professionals in the industry. Take time to analyze and critique your own work, and continue to educate yourself on photography techniques and styles.

Q: Should I rely solely on my own judgment when it comes to selecting and editing my photos?

A: While your perspective is important, it can also be valuable to seek input from others to gain new insights and perspectives on your work. Collaborating with others can help elevate your photography to new heights.

I hope you find useful my article Are you the best judge of your Photography? (The story of an image), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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