Monday, October 26, 2009

Making Vs. Improving Your Best Work

A followup to the other ideas of today is the recognization that to make our best work is not the same thing as trying to improve our best work. In the former, we use our strengths to produce the best possible work we can, while in the latter, we work on those areas which most need help. Are you aware of when you do one vs. the other? Perhaps you only ever try to do your best work, never putting much effort into trying to improve your work other than by trying harder - whatever that means.

I could imagine someone suggesting that one of my weaknesses is in putting all my effort into careful compositions instead of finding intrinsically interesting subject matter in the first place.

This would suggest that I put more effort into finding interesting things first and good compositions second. Any time we discuss interesting, it has to be asked - interesting to whom? To be a serious photographer with something to say, I'm absolutely convinced that it has to be interesting to the photographer, that tailoring your subject, style, or technique to suit the viewer is to prostitute yourself. Fine if you are charging $4000/day - for that kind of money I can do a lot of grovelling - but not suitable to someone who professes to be a fine art photographer.

1 comment:

Sandy Wilson said...

George, what is interesting subject matter?

Interesting subject matter to the viewer may not be interesting subject matter to you the photographer, or vice versa.

Most of the great artists work was never accepted in the first place, you only have to look at J M W Turner. His work was to far ahead for its time.

He was never accepted by the Royal Academy, or by Queen Victoria during his liftime. However look at how his work is stands today and is accepted by the art establishment.

Oh yes and what it sells for when it come on the market.

We can only improve our photography by expanding our photographic experience and by comparing our work with other well established photographers