Thursday, September 4, 2008

Most of My Pictures Suck...

Ok, now it's safe for me to admit it. That's because Mike Johnston, the estimable photographer and photography writer, revealed the following a few years back:

To be honest, most of my pictures suck. The saving grace of that admission is that most of your pictures suck, too. How could I possibly know such a thing? Because most of everybody's pictures suck, that's how. I've seen Cartier-Bresson's contact sheets, and most of his pictures sucked. One of my teachers said that it was an epiphany for him when he took a class from Garry Winogrand and learned that most of Winogrand's exposures sucked. It's the way it is.
See the entire article, entitled The Magic Bullet, here.

Once I reconciled myself to the fact that most of my pictures suck, and that no matter what I do or what kind of fancy equipment I might use, most of my pictures will still suck, it was rather liberating.

When I'm out for a few hours of shooting, I'm completely happy if I end up with just a few, or even one, good image. In fact, if I end up with no decent photos at all, it doesn't bother me much anymore.

That's because just the act of getting out and doing photography is useful in itself in that I always learn something, even if what I learn is what doesn't work in making a good picture.

So come on now, say it with me, say it loud and say it proud: "My photos suck!"

Or at least 98 percent of them do. Now let's go out see if we can't get that two percent.

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