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!

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3 thoughts on “Choosing your Best or Favourite photos?

  1. Pingback: Twitted by fluffyhoneybee

  2. Pingback: Best Photos 2009 « Memoirs of an Underwater Photographer

  3. Pingback: Best Photos 2010 « Memoirs of an Underwater Photographer

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