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Posts in Category: Pontifications

Photography is Like Visiting Your Internal Optometrist

When you dive into photography, you eventually learn that no one wants to see a slightly different picture of the same thing. Sure, you may have taken 2-3 images of some famous monument from 3 different angles, but unless you’re having a debate with other photographers about which one best captured the subject, don’t show all three to any other audience! They really only want to see one, unless they’re outstandingly different. You want them to always crave the next image and wonder what it’ll be; you will fail to achieve that emotion with a series of repeats. Instead they’ll be wondering “will this ever end?”

Selecting Images

“Always leave them wanting more” – many people

This quote is rather famous, and applies to many things from fine dining to photography. No one is quite sure who said it first, but it speaks the truth.

So, where does that leave you, the photographer, when trying to show off the amazing images you’ve crafted? It leaves you needing to spend a lot of time pretending to yourself that you’re an optometrist. Your internal dialog will begin to sound something like this:



Which one is better? number one or two? one or two? one or two?

Number One!



Ok, now which one is better: number one or three? one or three?

Um, are they different? Oh wait, just barely. Three!

and this goes on and on and on until you’ve found just the right one of your hundreds to actually pass on to the next phase: Editing.


Then it’s time to begin the intensive post-processing phase to get the light in the image to match your memories of the dramatic place it represents. Or maybe it’s time to go artistic and really push the image to its limits. At which point we’re back to….

Black and White.


Which one is better? black and white? or color? black and white? or color???




Ok, now which one is better: brighter? or darker? brighter? or darker???


This continues, and continues, and continues, and continues until you end up with a final signal image from the multitudes of prior possibilities:

People wonder why I take hundreds of pictures of a single scene, but they only get to see just a few. This is why: because I want you to see just the best. The very best. Not always truly artistically perfect, mind you, but at least “the best of that scene”.

“The secret to becoming a good photographer is to shoot a lot and delete all of the bad ones.” – Jim Richardson

And to that quote I’ll even add my own conclusion: “and hide some of the other good ones too”.

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