Are our photos good enough? It depends… for whom? for What?
Years ago I learned of the criteria that was adopted by a major Photography Group, when they judged their members images. In those days they were called photos.
I have not found, nor have I heard of anything that is a better gauge of effective photography. Perc E. Powell, famed Canadian Mounty and award winning photographer said, “Apply 3 points to technical competence – sharpness, proper exposure, etc; 3 points for composition – Rule of thirds, leading lines, etc; and 3 points for feeling or impact – that hard to define element that causes an emotional stir.”
We could juggle the numbers around a bit; but, the categories are the same. For their competitions they would have three judges and add the totals from each judge. That seemed like a fairly objective approach. So, each judge would score each image 1-3 points for each category – total 3-9 per image. Times three judges – total 9-27. The winner had the highest score. Simple enough.
Evaluating our own images…
If we look at each or our own images and apply the same kind of scoring we should be able
to come up with a pretty good separation among our own images. It may be a bit subjective because certain memories of the event will surely enter, especially in the third category – feeling; but, I think we get the idea.
Who are we shooting for?
So, are our images just for our
selves as remembrances? Or are we wishing to put together the best images that convey where we were and what the essence of the event was like?
Then there is another factor…
How long have we been practicing our craft?
I love this quote from Henri Cartier-Bresson… “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
Enough said on that!
Perc E. Powell also had this to say. Of the three things that can lift our work out of the ordinary, changing our angle of view and/or including an element of feeling or emotion are two, or words to that effect.
When I was more active submitting images to Magazines I recall one instructor suggesting we lay our images on the floor then compare them to those in our favorite magazines. Trying to remain objective during this exercise might be the issue.
All we are trying to do at this point is to determine the areas we may have to put more time into. It might be a matter of using a tripod or upgrading our equipment. Make corrections where we are now, then review our work again.
Once again, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Try to be objective and know that as time moves along so will the effectiveness of our work.