The toughest thing about photography is to show it.
I would never be so bold to say I understand the late street photographer Vivian Maier, but I can make a qualified guess by comparing her to many photographers including myself. Vivian Maier was a Nanny in New York that loved to shoot street photography. Boxes and boxes of her work were discovered after her death. Included were thousands of prints and negatives, many of them masterpieces that were literally unknown and unseen by anyone other than herself and her printer for her entire life. She never showed her images.
Showing your work is hard. It requires thick skin, but also an ear to listen to constructive criticism to see how you may improve. I have a friend that would ask my opinion on a piece. He would not except an 'it's nice' response. He would press me into an explanation of a why or why not I liked it. Then he would argue one side or the other of the opinion. It shows a lot of courage to face criticism of something your care about.
Occasionally we will show an image that we are proud of that doesn't get the response that we would like. Generally people close to us will give positive feedback, but when we display the piece to the public it sometimes falls on deaf ears. It may be because our judgement is clouded due to a positive personal experience or the image doesn't tell the story properly, or perhaps because your subject isn't the 'hot' theme of the day. The fail of an image in a particular forum is no reason to stop posting.
Today's post features 8 images that I have featured on 500px that died a quick painful death for various reasons. I will admit that I still like the images, I'll keep posting and I'll probably have many more fails in the future. I have ordered the images least to most painful.
8. I shot this image at Camp Bison Prison Camp. I don't love the image but I find it interesting and feel that it draws the viewer into the scene. The true reason that it is on the list is probably that I have seen similar images that have done well!
7. I sort of understand this one. I like the colour and texture of the image. I have a similar image on the wall of my den. It's not to everyone's taste.
6. It's soft, it's hand coloured and I like it. I think it's refuge from the hot sun in a dark, cool cave aspect of the image that I like. It may speak to me personally.
5. This one surprised me. I see a broken down riding mower, sitting beside the highway, dreaming of the the unattainable, the freedom of getting out of this town and cruising the highways. Kind of a sad pic. I suppose I didn't tell the story properly. It's not something I would put my wall, but I like it.
4. This one may be too personal. Friends shooting at morning light. Also Stephen moved during the exposure blurring his elbow. Maybe I'll blame him.
3. I see drama. Obviously not everyone does!
2. I took this shot at Camp 30 in Bowmanville. I like the colour and texture. Urbex style isn't for everyone, but I think it has merit.
1. This one hurts a little. I love this image. My daughter liked it and has a print on her wall at home and I admire it whenever I go over to her house. I have similar images that have done well so the only reason I have for the lack of success is that the window is blown out. I find the window actually lightens the image and is a positive.
I'm no Vivian Maier, but like the images or not I'll keep posting. Every image is a learning experience. Perhaps in the future I'll post a list of images that have done better than I expected.
Visit my article Showoff, The Social Site Post for my take on using social media sites for posting images.
A Photo In The Life Of is a weekly PHOTO blog on LARRYLEWISPHOTO.COM. It is an evolution of my original blog A Photo in the life of that began in 2006. I hope to give a little context to my photography and maybe make a few new photography friends. To purchase a print visit Shop. If the image is not listed Contact Me for availability.