Why are my photos rubbish?
Believe it or not, I hear this remark frequently from beginner photographers and the first thing I have to say is: Your photos are not rubbish! That approach is negative and you’ll never make progress that way. You need to switch to a positive approach, use constructive criticism, learn from your errors and most importantly be selective with your photos. One of the most fundamental errors made by people today is to capture huge numbers of photos but not to select the best ones.
Advanced photographers have always taken lots of photos, but then they carefully single out the images they think are worth using and put them all together.
It’s all a question of attitude. If you have a positive approach, you will improve.
Someone who says ‘Nine out of ten of my photos are rubbish. I must be a bad photographer’ has a negative approach and won’t improve.
Someone who says ‘One in ten of the photos I have taken is good enough to publish. That’s a good ratio, I am doing well’ has a positive approach.
And remember, a lot of the time, the photos don’t turn out as expected because of the camera’s shortcomings, not yours! Today’s cameras are far from perfect. Don’t blame yourself when you should be blaming the imperfections of the camera!
The camera may be behaving in an unexpected way, maybe it can’t focus properly or it’s getting the exposure wrong. By learning more about the principles of photography and how a camera works, you should be able overcome the problem.
Many photographs simply cannot be taken successfully. For instance when you are trying to take a photograph of a facade, but the sun is behind the building and shining into the camera. Any photo you take will be rubbish – unless it there is some special effect with the light or other unexpected aspect.
Unlike playing the violin (which I tried once – I was rubbish!), photography is a truly ‘democratic’ medium of expression. Every person has the capability to take good, successful, meaningful and pleasing photographs. That’s why it’s the most popular hobby, and also the most widespread visual medium.
Creative Photography Task: Look through a set of up to fifty photos on your digital camera or on your computer and select the five best ones. Write down in note form why you think they are the best!