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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> I don't know why I even try
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01/23/2011 10:06:38 AM · #1
My photos are shit. There we go, big epiphany moment. They were shit when I first laid my hands on a camera 7 years ago and lo, they are still shit. Not one iota of improvement. Seven years of clicking, reading, studying, begging for one crumb of something that I can hold up and say "LOOK! I'm getting somewhere!".

I know of people who, within two years of picking up a camera for the first time are good enough to be making money out of it. How is it possible to focus so much of your time and energy into something and not get better at it?

I think I'm just going to have to accept that some people have "It" and, well others don't.

I don't know what I'm looking for with this post, I just feel awful.
01/23/2011 10:15:05 AM · #2
I haven't seen enough of your work to know whether you're right or not. (Are the photos in your portfoloio yours, or others? I see other's names attached to them...?)

Your challenge entries are a different matter.

I happened to really like your highest ranked entry. I loved the idea and the execution. I might have cropped a bit differently, but I liked it a lot.

You branch entry was quite good, as well, but I didn't feel it really met the challenge as well as others. But I thought the photo was quite interesting.

Is the rest of your stuff really that crappy? Or are you being too hard on yourself?

Show us more stuff.
01/23/2011 10:16:02 AM · #3
Define horrible.

Then, define what you want to achieve.
01/23/2011 10:39:03 AM · #4
2 of your 3 challenge entries are rated 6+ so you are not a bad photographer but I think the most important thing is that You yourself should be happy with your photos but it seems that you are not. I'm not a professional but I think it's better for you to take some easy but beautiful shots for a while( you can find many of them here in DPC ),that will give you the confidence after that you'll start taking great photos...
01/23/2011 10:47:56 AM · #5
Three challenges, 3 faves, 5.9 average - I think you are doing something right. Like Samoza says, you need to like what you shoot, and it seems you are your own worst critic. Perhaps join a few side challenges so you can shoot a wider gamut of images and ask for critiques on your work.
01/23/2011 10:50:43 AM · #6
Originally posted by Cinnamon_Girl:


I don't know what I'm looking for with this post, I just feel awful.


maybe you're looking for validation. if so, look inside yourself. do you love photography, or do you love the thought of being a good photographer....there is a difference in my opinion.
01/23/2011 11:09:16 AM · #7
No you are not.Your three highest scoring images show that you can make a good shot.
Although not great for the challenge your Branch entry is a super image that many would be well chuffed with,myself included.
We all have this doubt at times ,please don,t feel bad I think you are being way to hard on yourself.

01/23/2011 11:26:52 AM · #8
I don't know how many photos you shoot in an average month, but a lot of us shoot 1,000 or more. Getting good at it is easy for some people, and for the rest of us, it takes a lot of practice, and some effort to get very comfortable with the camera and settings. That way, when the opportunity comes along, you can get the shot.
You don't put up a portfolio, so we have no way of knowing what you are shooting in order to comment on it. Like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' fldave said, a couple of side challenges would help to get you started sharing and getting feedback.
BTW, your average score received is much higher than mine. Keep in mind that you can't please everyone with any photo, no matter how perfect it is. Sometimes the ones that I put the least thought and effort into, and don't think that they will be anything, are the ones that get the most attention by connecting with people in some way that I don't expect or foresee. I finally learned to just shoot what catches my eye, and let the images be what they are.
01/23/2011 11:31:17 AM · #9
Originally posted by Cinnamon_Girl:


I know of people who, within two years of picking up a camera for the first time are good enough to be making money out of it. How is it possible to focus so much of your time and energy into something and not get better at it?

I think I'm just going to have to accept that some people have "It" and, well others don't.


I'm not sure you have to much room to talk, I've been on this site since 2003 and still don't have a 6. You have 3 entries and 2 of them were 6's..

I'd say your probably just having a bad day and needed to vent. But your photos from what I can see are far from "shit".

01/23/2011 11:48:14 AM · #10
I think you are very harsh on yourself. I REALLY like your entries "Forgotten" and "Cherry Blossom", and would be proud to have those in my own portfolio!

Cut yourself some slack, you're nowhere near as bad as you see yourself!! Considering you're averaging very close to 6.0, I think that's something to be happy with!

Message edited by author 2011-01-23 11:49:13.
01/23/2011 12:19:53 PM · #11
The real person you need to please is you. Take pictures that you like to look at. Simple as that.
01/23/2011 12:24:49 PM · #12
You are much too hard on yourself.
01/23/2011 12:28:45 PM · #13
"Shit" is a bit harsh. "Uninspired" is more like it. smardaz's advice is good. Why do you take pictures? What does each picture mean to you? Who the hell are you, anyway (and why doesn't the answer relate to your photos)?
01/23/2011 12:28:54 PM · #14
What I would say, is that you have been a member here for 5 years, yet have only entered 3 of the main challenges (I see from your portfolio you seem to be entering side challenges?). I find that the weekly challenges offer a focus (sometimes too tight a time scale). You needn't enter them all... maybe even just the Free Study every month where there is less constraint on what you can submit (albeit a higher standard of competition). Having an objective is really helping me both with my shooting and my post processing. My shots are still hit and miss, but my average score is constantly rising which tells me that my pictures are heading in the right direction.

I really like "Cherry Blossom", and your forgotten toy image placed 6th out of 136 entrants which is not too shabby.

I'm not sure what you are wanting from your photography though... is there a particular genre you want to focus on? Is it a career thing... you want to be an arty photog?

And smardaz comment is spot on.
01/23/2011 12:53:58 PM · #15
Here is an amateur photographer in Portland, Oregon who just took up photography in April of 2009.

Miles Morgan

His father, however, is a photojournalist.
01/23/2011 01:08:55 PM · #16
You're not helping. ;-) Now she feels worse than ever.

Kidding. I think the challenge for Cinnamon isn't to be the kind of photographer that masters a genre in a few months and blows everyone away with the results. If taking pictures is the medium, and business not the goal, then photography becomes art, and there has to be a reason for the taking. Surely there's something in every photographer that inspires (or requires) them to take pictures. That's what needs to be photographed: the source of the inspiration translated into a photo that tells a story about the person taking it. I think that's what the Cinnamon girl is missing.

Plus, I think good landscape photography is a dime a dozen. But then, I'm an art snob, and couldn't take a good landscape photo if my life depended on it.
01/23/2011 04:38:42 PM · #17
I started playing golf in my early 30s. At first, it was just an odd weekend game with friends - I didn't care much that my score was so bad and I lost so many balls. But after a couple of years, I got the bug. I played every weekend, hit the driving range, and started taking lessons from a pro.

The hobby was costing me a fortune, both in gear and in lessons. Like you, I couldn't see any improvement at first, but I persevered. I joined a club and played a round of golf every single day for a year. I started playing in competitions, learned the rules back to front. Read the books, and magazines. Trying to perfect my swing.

In the end, I realised I was naturally shite at golf; so I put my clubs in the attic where they've stayed to this day.

Never felt so relieved in my life to be out of a hobby.
01/23/2011 04:55:45 PM · #18
Originally posted by JH:

I started playing golf in my early 30s. At first, it was just an odd weekend game with friends - I didn't care much that my score was so bad and I lost so many balls. But after a couple of years, I got the bug. I played every weekend, hit the driving range, and started taking lessons from a pro.

The hobby was costing me a fortune, both in gear and in lessons. Like you, I couldn't see any improvement at first, but I persevered. I joined a club and played a round of golf every single day for a year. I started playing in competitions, learned the rules back to front. Read the books, and magazines. Trying to perfect my swing.

In the end, I realised I was naturally shite at golf; so I put my clubs in the attic where they've stayed to this day.

Never felt so relieved in my life to be out of a hobby.

Nice story, I like it :)
01/23/2011 05:00:50 PM · #19
Originally posted by Cinnamon_Girl:

...I know of people who, within two years of picking up a camera for the first time are good enough to be making money out of it...


Faulty reasoning.
01/23/2011 05:19:19 PM · #20
Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

I don't know how many photos you shoot in an average month, but a lot of us shoot 1,000 or more. ...


Is that all you shoot? ;)

Last month I clicked off about 5-6k photos :)

Oh, and my average is way below hers... Wonder how badly I must suck?
01/24/2011 11:15:50 AM · #21
Originally posted by Cinnamon_Girl:



I know of people who, within two years of picking up a camera for the first time are good enough to be making money out of it.


And i have seen plenty of photos for sale (and - strangely - selling) which look like they were taken by someone who didn't know which end of the camera to look into! Sales are no guarantee of quality... especially the wedding variety, but let's not go there, it's a heated debate!
01/24/2011 12:09:37 PM · #22
For me, it ebbs and flows and I have been here since 2003! I have long LONG periods of low to sub 5's almost consistently with a small run of 6+ that is shortly lived. By the way, you're off to a great start!
01/24/2011 12:29:50 PM · #23
If you dont think you are good enough, try harder. If you dont want to try harder its pointless trying at all.
01/24/2011 04:58:20 PM · #24
Originally posted by JH:

I started playing golf in my early 30s. At first, it was just an odd weekend game with friends - I didn't care much that my score was so bad and I lost so many balls. But after a couple of years, I got the bug. I played every weekend, hit the driving range, and started taking lessons from a pro.

The hobby was costing me a fortune, both in gear and in lessons. Like you, I couldn't see any improvement at first, but I persevered. I joined a club and played a round of golf every single day for a year. I started playing in competitions, learned the rules back to front. Read the books, and magazines. Trying to perfect my swing.

In the end, I realised I was naturally shite at golf; so I put my clubs in the attic where they've stayed to this day.

Never felt so relieved in my life to be out of a hobby.


That is a depressing story =/

ANYWAY. I hope it doesn't turn out that way for me. I want to take photos that make ME happy. Bonus if somebody else likes it, but I'm fed up of being disappointed with myself. I know I have zero confidence and that is like banging my head against a brick wall.

When I mentioned people making money from photography, I wasn't meaning to imply that I want to make money from this. I don't give a rabbit's arse. I was just using it as an example of how some people get so good so fast, and it's irritating because I'm not one of them.

I definitely need to start entering challenges. I need some direction, because I keep going around in circles.

Thanks for all your input guys.
01/24/2011 05:05:12 PM · #25
Originally posted by Cinnamon_Girl:

I was just using it as an example of how some people get so good so fast, and it's irritating because I'm not one of them.

It took me 18 months of getting beat up by better photographers on this site until I snagged my first ribbon, and that was a total surprise to me. For me, it has been a lot of small lessons that somehow eventually came together. Some of my most successful entries have been shots with only limited appeal. There are other people who have been here far longer and have never gotten one. There are also many of them who are achieving what they want out of their photography and they know their style will never have the kind of mass appeal it takes to ribbon.

Give yourself some time and wear your thickest skin.

Message edited by author 2011-01-24 17:06:19.
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