Out of curiosity: like what?
SB-that's a fair question. I don't want to get ripped for a longish answer, and I will try to be brief
but to me, your question goes to what I was looking for when I joined Lu-La. The User Critiques forum looked to me to be promising venue for critiques, critical evaluation of my work, which I had not experienced much of and, frankly, approached with some trepidation. It goes beyond trying to find an audience that thinks my work is worth looking at, or "do they like it?" Certainly, if someone, especially here, liked what I put up, that would be great, but I want to learn more and criticism
probably especially negative criticism, I hate to say, is more likely to help me grow as a photographer, or as an enthusiast to give a nod to RSL's taxonomy, I think. Positive criticism is helpful to me only insofar as it tells me why
someone would like a particular photo. There is one important caveat: From what I've seen, some of you, even most, are terrific photographers and I frankly admire your work enviously; if you like it, that is enough and a +1 or an "I like it" I find very encouraging. I have no formal art training although I do read a lot. I grew up a biomedical scientist and only recently returned to photography seriously in the last four years or so, almost like rediscovering a long lost love. I am passionate about it, but my craft must be honed. Some of you are long term, even life long photographers and I find the experience and perspective shared in your images inspiring and when you consider amplifying in words, to me that is worth thoughtful consideration even when it is a terse comment about my work or someone else's. Are you getting tired yet? You asked for it
So what have I been learning the last few weeks?
From RG, I have been asked to think about my photographs from the standpoint of what am I trying to accomplish with a given image. I get his opinion as to whether I succeeded, or not. Now that's a very subjective view, but I also learned that even if he didn't care for a photo, he could appreciate that I had a rationale for why I took it and presented it just so. I also have come to appreciate as I observe the dialogue re his posts, that there are varying esthetics regarding not only specific images, but also in how different photographers approach them. Hard to explain, but I was thinking (naively) that there might have been some external esthetic standard that I could somehow come to appreciate; I am now thinking how silly that is. Part of what I do, must be done because I like it, maybe for only that reason. But now I am gobbledygooking!
SB, since you asked the question, I should address it specifically. I wish I could do some of the shots that you do; it's a style (if you will) of photography that I admire. In my limited exposure, you seem to lead or teach by example: You show an image and await comments. That's fine, I can learn that way. Can you teach more explicitly? I can live with the former, but if you had more explicit thoughts to share about a given photograph, I would enjoy that just as much. I am learning, what I can't tell yet, from some of the interchanges you have with different posters; I will continue to follow.
Chrisc, you shared with me some important technical insight (wait for it, you'll laugh) regarding the use of B/W layers in luminosity mode to enhance tonal range and whatnot. Here's the silly: I thought I'd discovered that myself!
I have been enraptured by the technological power of Photoshop, but this teaches to get back to focussing (sic) on taking good photographs! I also appreciate your honesty when you said you'd been to the same spot I had and "missed" the shot or whatever. It said to me the photo was worth taking to at least one other photographer. My wife likes it, but that doesn't count LOL.
Amolitor and RSL, you have taken a look at the few photos I've posted and obviously thought about them. What's going on with the light? Does it match the EXIF data? What are those details in the background? I appreciate any positive comments, but you are also helping me to try and get out of my own head and see things from the viewer's point of view, which is a new experience for me. Maybe sounds dumb, but it's true. I think RG said it's partly like the proofreader problem in writing; I certainly understand that from my scientific publication struggles, but had never thought of it from the standpoint of photography. I need to put myself in the mind (eye?) of the viewer. Duh, you say. Well, that's why I am hanging around!
For some of you others, maybe newbies, I encourage you to keep posting, be involved, and know that I will be learning as I watch your experiences unfold. The comparison of photography with a journey is such a cliche, but it's a cliche because it really is true. I appreciate being able to walk along with all of you.
Well, blither, blather, blah, blah, blah! SB, I thought your question serious and I have attempted to give you a serious answer. Thanks for giving me opportunity to expound
and sorry for the length, guys! I see that I did not succeed in my attempt to be brief LOL. Teach me more! Just as a disclaimer, I do have a website and I do have things for sale, but that's so I can deduct my equipment
Best regards to all.