A long time ago, I used to post a lot of my photos to Trek Earth. This site is great for travel shots but the rules can be a little repressive, if you are like me and love HDR. If you violate the rules, they send you a letter saying that it looks abnormal and they are going to remove it. That being said, one of the cool things is that they have a point system. If you comment, the photo gets 3 points. I was always jealous of the guys that would take a picture of a stop sign, convert it to black and white, post it to trek earth and get thousands of points.After reading this article by Scott Bourne at Photofocus, it got me thinking “Do my photos really cut it?” Going through the list a few resonated with me. The rest I want you to read on your own and tell me what you think. These may strike a cord with you too and I want to know what you think.
3. Your Photos Aren’t Cutting It if you don’t use your camera at least weekly. People who don’t shoot regularly are very rarely creating special work. The people who pick up their camera nearly every day tend to get the best shots. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Practice is a key component in success in almost any worthwhile endeavor.
This is key, sometimes I go periods without taking many shots. I often think that my previous work is good enough. However, facebook has given people ADD and they always want new stuff. Also and more importantly, photography takes practice. You can’t just walk out and take great photos as soon as you take the camera out of the box. You have to learn how to compose the shots, learn how your camera works, learn the best times of the day to shoot, etc.
A great project to try is a 365 day photo project where you take a photo every day for a year. A fellow Ulsan photographer Ben Hobson did this last year and the improvement in his photography is amazing! His current photos are generating a lot of comments, especially this one
The Basic lesson is that if you want to improve, get out there and shoot. Don’t worry about gear, lenses or how good your camera is, just take pictures.
4. Your Photos Aren’t Cutting It if you think your Flickr gallery should be getting more views and comments, but you’re not doing anything to earn that traffic and response. Sorry, but you are not entitled to attention. I know this will come as a shock to some of you but you actually have to earn that. If you want to get more comments on your photos, then make photographs that engage the audience. Don’t blame the audience. Blame your own lack of hard work and vision. Don’t stop there – go – get up and do something about it.
This one always gets me. I always post photos to flickr and hope that I get a ton of views and comments but sadly I don’t. Hence, why I am working hard on improving my work. I am scouting different locations and doing a ton of reading. People like great photos and thus you have to take great photos. You have to change things up a bit, try out new things.
These days there are a ton of great resources out there from Kelby Training to cheap ebooks with a wealth of information. There is no excuse not to be able to improve your talent. The other thing to remember is that flickr and trek earth are subjective to activity and groups. People who post nice things or join a lot of the groups that make people comment will get more comments. However, you can always tell when really good photos hit the scene because their views will be in the thousands. This takes skill but it is a skill that you can learn and practice over time.
Please take time to read through Scott’s article and think about your own photos and what you can do to improve your skill. Sit back and think about these words. Hone your skill and improve yourself in 2011