November 29, 2012

I guess one had to be there

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Feedback and constructive criticism is an important part of the process for a photographer, so I often run images by a wise and experienced image maker (and friend), who I won't name. To be honest, I was flabbergasted when he reported back that this image (above) "didn't do anything for him".

But it got me thinking--about why we like or dislike what we see. My conclusion is that our appreciation of a certain image is simply colored by our own experience. After all, I was "there", and perhaps what I am saw in the scene failed to successfully communicate with his own experiences. Perhaps this explains why when I view winners of photo contests, I often wonder just what the judges "saw" in the winning image.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Anyway, before the breakthrough of the sun, Sunday morning couldn't have been any foggier than it was at Alpine Lake on Mount Tamalpais.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

I pretty much knew what was going to happen when the sun started to overpower the fog. But it was a good long wait. I waited and waited, with plenty of time to frame up several compositions in the fog. The goal is that what I saw and experienced would be successfully communicated. et voila.

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John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

Same here with judges and their choices with photo contests. Usually I stand there wondering what they were thinking when the photo behind me is much better in my opinion and didn't even rate an honorable mention.

AphotoAday said...

Hi JOHN (SINBAD'S DAD): True dat! My sentiments exactly.

photowannabe said...

I'm right there with both of you.
That is why it's hard for me to share my own photos.
Sometimes I really love something and the response I get is either eh? or that's weird. I guess that photography like a painting is really for the artist anyway.
My favorite shot is the foggy one at the lake. I can feel the dampness and the haunting stillness.

Nancy Ewart said...

I love all of these and would have a hard time choosing which one is my favorite. I love Chinese ink painting and they all remind me of how ink looks on silk, painted by the hand of a master.

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