sheep grazing in late afternoon sun - are my photographs good enough

Are My Photographs Good Enough

A couple of months ago I suddenly found that I seemed to have hit a brick wall with my photography. I had been in photographic ruts before, but this time things felt different. The buzz and excitement of going out camera in hand to shoot photographs had gone.

There was something inside my head made me ask myself “are my photographs good enough?”

Without stopping to think about what “are my photographs good enough” actually meant I decided to take a total break from photography and all it entailed, and mull things over.

Inevitably thoughts like “maybe a new camera or a couple of new lenses will respark my interest” entered my head. These are misguided thoughts of course, as like you, I know that it is not the camera that creates photographs that are “good enough” but it is the person behind the camera.

Long story short, I thought it was time for a full reset of everything that I had been doing.

The first part of the reset was to retire my photoblog. The Occasional Photoblogger had been going since early 2014 in various guises but I felt that the pressure I put on myself to produce content and photographs that were good enough was affecting the way I was approaching my photography. Plus I was spending far too much time tweaking the blog: trying to get images sharper, altering colours, changing the layout or the theme, and the awful time waster – trying to get faster page load times.

I also spent a fair bit of time thinking about what “are my photographs good enough” meant.

My conclusions? Basically – Stop….

  • Stop comparing my images with those of other photographers, whether amateur or professional;
  • Stop trying to impress and compete with people on Instagram and Facebook;
  • Stop going for the big shot – that photograph that someone will want to frame and hang on their wall;
  • Stop beating myself up about photographs that don’t turn out the way I want them to;
  • Stop thinking about what others think when they see me aiming my camera at something when they see nothing to photograph;
  • Stop all the tweaking and fiddling with this – my new photoblog, and;
  • Stop being unprepared – carry my camera with me most, if not all, of the time.

And the meaning of “are my photographs good enough”? Well basically to me it means that if I like a photograph I take it is good enough, and if I love it is definitely good enough!

Another part of my reset was to take stock of all the photo processing applications that were installed on, and probably cluttering up, my computer.

There was Luminar Flex, Luminar AI, On1 Photo RAW, DxO Photolab, Affinity Photo, the Nik Collection, along with trial versions of several others – but no Lightroom I hasten to add (I’ve never warmed to LR).

They all came off the computer and then I very selectively reinstalled some of them as I sorted out a new processing workflow that works for me.

Post-reset my go-to applications are DxO Photolab 4 and the Nik Collection as they coexist nicely together. Affinity Photo is also back on board as it has a great erase/clone/in-painting feature which I use occasionally.

Oh – and there is also a trial version of the recently released DxO PureRAW installed. More about PureRAW in a later story.

The final stage of my reset was to restore my cameras (I have 2  Nikons) to their default settings to force me to start thinking about the basics of photography again.

The only change made to the cameras’ default settings was to set them to aperture priority, my favoured shooting mode, and hence the name of this photoblog.

So that’s my photography reset. Now all I have to do is follow my new rules and get out and about taking photographs again – all of which will be good enough.

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