"Why BAD Photographers THINK They're Good"

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by jyc860923, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
     
    • Like Like x 7
    • Informative Informative x 6
  2. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    Thanks for posting that. I saw quite a bit of myself in that. I hope I am past the self-delusional stage, but I’m not sure. I look back at some of the photos I’ve posted here and I cringe. I have finally recently become a little more selective in what I post, but even so, there are photos I have posted recently that I am sorry I posted. But I so enjoy the feeling I get when I look at a photo I am happy with. Even if I don’t stay happy with it forever.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Don't cringe. It is a learning process. My philosophy is that I post an image if I like it and find it better than my recent average. Sometimes I love an image and it does not get many likes here and that is ok too. To me, the self evaluation creates the learning. And occasionally, people are just deluded and don't recognize my natural genius ;).

    Btw, those birds are looking better and better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
    • Funny Funny x 6
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  4. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Houston
    I remember when the Dunning-Kruger effect was first published and it is true but what it doesn’t taken into account (because it didn’t exist at the time) is the effect that social media plays into it. He only touches on it in this video which I think is a shame.

    For example...........

    Someone post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and all they get are likes and comments about how great the photo is. This further makes them think they are a great photographer and their photos should be in magazines. This actually makes the Dunning-Kruger effect even stronger since they now have outside validation from lots of other people about their ability. So now, armed with all this positive feedback (because no one says anything bad about a photo in social media) they post the photo say here. They expect to get nothing but compliments about it because it got 1,000 likes and 100 great comments on their social media accounts. Then someone like me gives them comments because they asked for them and I am honest and truthful about the photograph. Now I am one of those “trolls and haters” he mentioned in his video because I didn’t say how amazing it was or how great of a photographer they are. It’s even worse if a few people before me commented about how great the photograph is (it’s these times that I often wonder if I am seeing a different image than the previous posters).

    Back when the thread started about having a critique section in the forum I brought this exact thing up. I specifically said that it would go badly when someone posted a photo and didn’t get the comments they expected because it was so well received on their social media accounts. And what happen? The very first photo submitted to the critique section played out exactly how I predicted. I have no idea how that section of the forum is going now because after that I have avoided it altogether. I find that 90% of the people who post for C&C here or on DPR are really only looking for a comments about how great they are and if anything is posted to the contrary they immediately attack the person who said it, regardless if it is the truth and that person is called a troll or a hater. I know I get told that all the time on this forum because I don’t tell someone how great a photo is when it sucks.

    My daughter and I were actually talking about this study not long ago, she has a Masters in Sociology and is working towards a PhD. It would be interesting to see something done to further the research but take into account the effect social media plays into it. There have been a few similar studies done that have kind of looked at this, but not to the extent that we think could really be done.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
    • Like Like x 7
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. ralf-11

    ralf-11 Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 16, 2017
    For another example...........

    Someone sees a motivational poster or a photo that is horribly over-processed to look like one and they try to produce something like this because it is "professional." This actually makes the Dunning-Kruger effect even stronger since they now have outside "professional" validation about their ability.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    To me there are different kinds of photography with different standards of excellence. I have no idea what makes a good or bad photo for ‘street shooters’. I don’t do that kind of photography. I will ocassionally venture into the street photography thread and I can’t predict which photos will get praise and which won’t. So I don’t comment on those threads. When it comes to nature photography, I know what I like, but that’s all I know. At least that’s more than I can say about street photography. Then there is landscape photography, fashion photography, portrait photography, sports photography, and so on. And there are different styles within the different genres. I’m just trying to take a picture that is in focus and properly exposed.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Bytesmiths

    Bytesmiths Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I can't view the video at the moment, because I'm in a library. So forgive if this is off-topic.

    Thomas Alva Edison said it best:
    The best photograph in the world is worth nothing unless it is marketed. And some of the worst photographs in the world are successfully marketed!

    I made my living for five years from my photography, and while I got to spend a bit more than 1% of my time actually taking pictures, I can attest that the majority of my time was spent in production and marketing.

    So part of what makes bad photographers think they're good is that they never undergo the excruciating hard work of being financially successful at photography, so it is easy for them to think, "All I have to do is figure out how to sell this." Yea, right. That's the real work of photography!
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 2
  8. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Jerry Seinfeld remarked in Seinfeld (over 25 years ago!) that almost all people think their driving skills are above average.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    After a dozen or so years as a "semi-serious amateur" I have concluded that I am a way better photographer than most people will ever be, but that I absolutely suck compared to folks with true skill, artistic ability and commitment to the craft. You know who you are; as do the rest of us. ;)

    But I am a better driver than most...
     
    • Funny Funny x 10
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 2
  10. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    Most everyone thinks they are much tougher than they actually are too. I have a friend who is a high level martial artist and has done MMA fights. I can assure you that we are not nearly as good as we think we are.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    It might be also worth considering the audience when it comes to critiques.
    What feedback I receive on my images from non photographers is very different than what I receive from talented and skilled artists.
    A lovely sunset and a sweeping landscape is a crowd pleaser, but it's not that kind of work that I get most satisfaction from clearly knowing it's kitsch :oops:
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    When I was working professionally as a photographer I have to admit my work was below average but it met my client's needs.
    Only once I stopped doing it for money that I liberated myself from the constraints of "delivering recordings" and started to explore my passion with experiments.
    I now photograph in a totally different way: my goal is to create images that evoke a feeling in the viewer, not just "faithful" reproductions that are technically so good but lack any soul.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    I saw that video just a few days ago and thought he made some interesting points especially about constantly improving and never being satisfied with your work as there is always room for improvement. In chasing that concept I try and watch at least a half dozen photography related Youtube videos every week. Some weeks I learn something new and some weeks I just get validation of what I have already learned. The weeks I learn something new that can be applied to what I am doing or the equipment or software that I already have are always the best.

    As to the question of what makes or is a great photograph, since so much of photography is subjective, the answer, as noted by many top photographers, is a photograph that makes you, not others, but you yourself happy that you took it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    That is very true. Even on this site where photography is clearly taken seriously, there is a strong variation in the types of images which get liked and also variation depending upon where those images are posted. For example, I think that my recent lacrosse shots are at least as good as some of the landscapes I posted earlier in the year. But they are messy, taken in uncontrolled environments and do not seem to interest very many people here. Otoh, the occasional landscape images I post seem to gather likes easily enough.

    And as a somewhat uncontrolled experiment, I present the following image which I took soon after I acquired my 12-40 Pro. It is the kind of symmetrical image which I enjoy trying to capture.
    M9074598.jpg
    I posted it several times on the forum (you can see that I crave the likes)
    • in its own thread with other images from the same location where the post containing it received 4 likes, 3 winners and 1 agree.
    • in the "Symmetric Images" thread where it garnered 10 likes and 1 winner
    • in the "Photo Association" thread where it got 12 likes and 1 wow.
    I might have also posted it in the Top 5 month and year threads (obsessed, says the man, obsessed with getting likes), but we will not count that :) I can safely say that if I had posted it in the 12-40 lens showcase, it would have gotten twice as many positive ratings. But what do all these ratings really say about the image? I got one comment about it which made me rethink why I like it and realize what the image evoked in me. And I still like the image as much as I did when I first took it, though I wish I had not cut of the marquee in the composition.

    So my philosophy (as stated above) is that I post images that I like and where I feel that I improved on my recent images and not worry about likes. But I welcome comments on how I can improve.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
    • Like Like x 5
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Thanks for sharing. This is good. I need to push myself out of my comfort zone more often.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I enjoy the praise of others but i’m my own worse critic. (Some of you guys come close, however o_O). I need to shoot more to keep my eye and skills sharp.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Dec 13, 2015
    Troy, NY
    Jock Elliott
    A couple of thoughts:

    1. In the world of professional photography, a successful photograph is one that meets the client's needs -- whatever they are. Depending on the needs, the image could range from great art to straight-forward, for-the-record documentation, like shooting a copy-table image of a museum's painting for insurance purposes. As a writer who has hired and/or directed plenty of professional photographers, my criteria always was: is this person likely to deliver to me a usable result?

    2. (Not my original thought) The only person you should compare yourself to is yourself in the past . . . are you improving or moving toward your goal?

    I'm happy to be an amateur. I try to shoot what moves me in the hopes that it might move others. I think it is safe to say that I suffer from "delusions of adequacy."

    Cheers, Jock
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Agree Agree x 3
  18. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    Every word in that video describes me.

    I shared this video because while I'm a terrible person who's never satisfied with most of the photographs, I'm seeing the bright side of the Dunning-Kruger effect, that the confident part encourages you and the humble part lets you know how much further you can push yourself.

    For me it's not about the likes, hates, confidence sort of things, but rather the progress I've made and knowing that I'll keep getting better. I may never be satisfied but I'm feeling good about not being satisfied.

    Like he said, if you find yourself falling prey of the Dunning-Kruger effect it doesn't mean you're stupid; and think about not only how we do it, but also why we do it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. That just about sums it up for me Denny. I shoot for me (nowadays) and the only critique that I take note of is my own. I'm not being rude but I won't even watch the video as I'm not into questioning where I am (photographically) at this stage in my life. If I was fulfilling a professional brief, then I would place more emphasis on others' opinions, but I'm not anymore so all that matters to me (with regards to Street or Landscape) is, "does the image show what I felt at the time, or what I thought it may evoke in others" If it doesn't do either, irrespective of how photographically/technically perfect it is, it goes in the bin and to be honest, my keeper rate is very low, so I don't consider myself as a "high achiever". Of course, with birds/wildlife, it's a different matter and I place more emphasis on technique in order to attempt a true portrayal.

    To me, the only way to be at your best, is to "listen to your heart" IYKWIM? If it doesn't sit right with you (in your gut) , then it doesn't matter what others think or how many "likes" you may get, then it shouldn't be there to get the likes in the first place, because you've betrayed your gut instinct by putting it on display and those likes are treacherous and misleading to your own self approval/appraisal. They are actually telling you that it's OK not to be true to self. Photography (to me) is an art and not a science, and as art is subjective, be your own judge of what is worthy of "putting out there." By all means listen to critique, but if you put it out there because your gut told you that it was OK to do so, then that's all that really matters IMHO.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  20. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I think that is one of the good points about this site. It does not judge every one like a pro. There are a lot of people myself included that are not under any delusion of taking really good photos. We may aspire to get better but will probably never reach an advanced ameture level. We just have fun with our hobby. Nothing wrong with that, to me anyway.

    I must admit I judge posted photos in two groups with regard to likes etc. Since I probably get people in these categories incorrectly (in my mind) some are way out.
    If I think the person is a raw beginner or just in it for a hobby I judge it accordingly.
    But if the person admits to being a pro or was one I judge harder with regard to likes.

    One grey area for me is fancy signatures, if I see one on the photo I assume you are a pro or aspire to be one as you have signed your work. So I will judge the same. Not sure if that is good or not.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Funny Funny x 1