Choosing your Best or Favourite photos?

The end of the year is a time for reflection. It’s a time I like to go through all my images from the past year and choose a few to represent my photography from the year. Here is the rub though, am I choosing my best photos or merely my favourites – and is that the same thing? I don’t think so. You can have a favourite photo that’s rubbish technically but means something very special to you or a technically amazing photo that you don’t like as much. I’m hoping by writing this blog post I’ll clear my mind as to which I’m doing this year and perhaps give you all something to think about while you reflect on your year.

Assuming the photo is basically correct (not hideously blown out or completely out of focus – unless I meant it that way) when I look at my photos I ask myself these questions:

  • Is the composition pleasing? Or could it be better? Is the light pleasing?

Are you making a statement with your composition or just playing it safe? Do it look balanced and feel right when you look at it? Does your eye want to take everything in?

  • Does the photo speak to me? How does it make me feel?

Everyone likes photos that make them feel something – anything, personally I like to feel happy rather than sad though ;)

  • Is there a story behind the photo? Is the memory of taking the photo clouding your judgement?

Did you set up a little scene with a funny back story? Is the story better than the finished photo? Is this one of those – “you just had to be there moments” where the photo doesn’t do it justice?

  • Was the photo challenging to take?

Did you have to trek 50miles for this photo? No one will know or care when they look at it but you. I’m guilty of this one. I often like photos of tiny things so small I couldnt see them in real life. Not sure that makes them good photos though!

  • Was this part of an experiment?

Playing with HDR or some other technique and really happy with how it turned out? Does it actually make it a good photo or just impressive to you because you know it was your first go at that technique?

  • Did I rise to a challenge?

Was this photo part of a themed challenge? Does it only make a great photo within that context or can it stand alone?

Well writing this post certainly cleared my mind as I’m am probably guilty of choosing all my photos for the wrong reasons. At the end of the day though it comes down to two questions?

1) Who is your audience? If you are only trying to please yourself you can do whatever you want! :) And everyone else it entitled to a different opinion.

and 2) Do your photos stand alone? Out of context (with no titles, back stories & explanations etc) when you see your photos do you think, wow, thats a great photo?

Now looking forward to the New Year and my blog post of best/fav 10 photos to follow shortly

Happy New Year everyone!

Wintery Updates

Ok, I’m usually a tropical sort of person but its winter holiday time again and wordpress has added a new feature to make it snow on your blog so until January the 4th this will be my little winter corner!

If you want to make your blog snow here’s the link…

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/a-little-snow-for-the-holidays/

Dont worry I’ll bring back the sun in January when I come back from Cayman with some more tropical underwater photos! :)

In other news my pc has died (booo!) so I wont be able to update my facebook photography page until its fixed (both facebook and Redbubble are now banned at work)!

New facebook fan page

If you are over on facebook why not stop by my page and become a fan?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzy-Walker-Photography/142248119589

These are some of the new photos I’ve uploaded:

Geek chart – show where you share

So this morning I signed up for a geek chart :) Its a little graph that indicates what popular sites you use most. You dont need to give them your twitter password or anything like that. The just pick up the information from the usernames you give for popular sites like twitter, digg, your blog feed etc.

Scuba_suzy’s Geek Chart

UPDATE: for some reason wordpress strips out the embedded code to show the chart (maybe because its flash?) but you can still click the link above to see it.

White Wall

Have recently joined a flickr group of twitter phoptographers and the first project is white wall. I think this one will be my final take on it:

A new feature on wordpress :)

OOooo how exciting! A new feature I’ve actually been wishing for on wordpress.com – post by email.

This post is my test run. You can find the details on how to do this with your wordpress.com here:

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/post-by-email/

EDIT: I did have to come in and edit in wordpress after all because my default category is photography and this is not a photog post.

Blog Renovation?

Since I joined twitter I’ve been exposed to so many interesting links and articles from and about photography and ways a photographer can use social networking/blogging/twitter etc to an advantage. @photojack is a really good source for this type of information and through him and various others I have found a whole raft of new and wonderful photographer blogs to follow – I’ll blog about these later. The point of this post (which I’ll get around to eventually) is much of the information that’s been feeding into my brain has started me to question the roll of my blog and how I can make it better, more interesting and perhaps even more widely read?

This series of really useful and interesting posts from PixelatedImage blog on how/why/should photographers blog really hit home…

The Photographer and the Blog, Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3

I must admit, I do fall into the category of bloggers that have a difficulty with writing. I enjoy it, but it takes me a while. I like to read blogs which have lots of lovely interesting links (inspired by kultureflash updates). And being a photographer I feel bad if my blog post doesn’t have a photo in it (like today). So over the bank holiday (yay) weekend I will endeavor to come up with the list of things that will hopefully transform my blog into something more people will find interesting to read and come back to. If you have any ideas that you would like me to implement (more tutorials on underwater equipment I have? Or a random image a day or whatever) please leave me a comment below. They are moderated (for catching those pesky spammers) so they will show up when I see and approve them. Have a good weekend all!