Thursday, July 7, 2011

Angels Above

This is another shot from the Cheer SF contingent, and as you can see, the only thing more awesome than flinging one person into the air on Market Street is flinging a bunch of people into the air. :)

I struggled with this photo, because I knew as I shot it there was something going on there that worked for me. At the same time, the other photographers involved got closer just as I shot, giving me a different composition than I wanted. Then in post, I realized I'd gone too hot on the exposure -- had been shooting at 2.8 before I switched to my ultra-wide, so I could blur the background behind people -- taking that to this sunny intersection, people ended up a bit cooked. I agonized about whether I still liked it or not, then finally found a square crop that made it go for me, and captured the feel I had while I was standing there -- and then someone instantly posted, saying they loved it. :)

In general, I feel like that it is a way (way) bigger problem in photography to not be self critical enough. Photos can be tied to feelings and emotions in your head that end up blinding you to the quality of the image. People have biases about what they like -- and fetishes about what they love, that is great for producing images only of interest to you. So, I tend to take a razor to images I post here on this blog, and can and do agonize over them for too long. Also a problem, but still nicer than having no self control and ending up with a photo blog just of cats or mannequins or the like.

Another great example of this phenomenon:

This is one of my favorite shots by Avedon. Fantastical, dreamy, gorgeous, masterful use of b&w, etc. I saw an interview with Avedon about the image, and he kept pointing out that had he to do it over again, he would have her dress flying out to the left. He said that over the years, he'd love the image, but he could never look at it without thinking what might have been.

Regret is bad, but photographic regret is a bitch.

1 comment:

  1. It's a good shot. And I've said before when photographing CheerSF, I always worry about them hitting the wires and creating a massive power blackout :)

    I hear you regarding critical doubts and photographic regrets. I was thumbing through photos this morning, looking for something to post on All City, and I found flaws in every one of the photos I've taken recently. Sharpening, contrast, composition, cliche... you name it, I wasn't satisfied with anything. Finally, I decided not to let the flaws paralyze me. But there are some days they do.