Sunday, December 2, 2012

What Makes a Good Picture Good?

Before I started taking pictures, even before I owned a camera I couldn't see any difference between two very similar pictures.  I had a friend that was an amateur photographer, he would show me stacks of pictures he had taken and go down through a pile and say, "this is good,this is bad,this is good, this is bad, etc. and when I watched this process.....I could see no difference in two similar pictures.  Other than making me feel rather stupid, I was thinking that he was a very gifted person with super human powers in the fact he could judge in his mind so clearly.  Of course at that time, I was too timid to ask "just what is the difference and why is this picture better?"
I can do this now!  After many years and thousands and thousands of pictures taken and looking at the results, I can see differences.  Anyone can do this as alot of it really does boil down to Attention to Detail . 
Before Sheryl joined me in photography I was a typical photographer. Technically correct and looked for that smile or look in my subject, never mind if his tie was crooked, a button being unbuttoned, or had a pack of pens and pencils in his pocket as long as he was looking happy or somewhat normal. When Sheryl would help me and I was operating the camera, she had the most annoying habit of standing directly in the line of fire for my camera. When she stepped away, the tie was straight, pens gone, wrinkles in shirt gone and NOW I was turned loose to get that EXPRESSION I wanted. When the proofs came back(we still paper proof, it is good to hold in your hand what you wish to see) all was well and my photos began to look much better, even to me! The more Sheryl helped me with my subjects, the better my pictures looked and in this process I began to see the differences.
My getting to edit our pictures gives me more of a chance to fine tune and hone for the image results we are looking for in the pictures we want for our clients. This has helped me as I am able to be in the process for quality control for our images which reflect what sets Limestone Lake photographs apart from the photographs of others.
Sheryl and I like to have breakfast on the patio overlooking the lake with the weather permitting. We don't eat in silence and most of our discussions are in reality working brunches, of course we eat all our other meals together also, but at breakfast it is the beginning of a new day. Sometimes we talk about the previous day and what went on, like how could we have made it even better or made improvement in how we did the session. Or we will discuss our up coming day and what we would like to accomplish or what location we want to use for this session. We work together as a team and in doing what we do, we don't think of it as work, to us it's a challenge to ourselves in creating images which we want to be even better than anything we have done previously. We are not photographing only to please our customers, but to be sure we have done our very best and not be satisfied till we do. I will confess however Sheryl will push this limit much farther than I, but then I am always saying to her "You are are too much of a perfectionist!" However when it comes to me, she's very accepting as I'm anything but perfect!
Sometimes I can't understand why some of our clients will choose a certain image over some I feel would look better as an enlargement for their wall. Sheryl helps me with this and has said to me many times, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!" I guess they are seeing something much more personal than a technically correct similar image. I guess this is why grandmas can see the very image which touches her heart and I'm thinking I'm sure they are all beautiful to her.
I guess that is what makes a good picture good!


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