It’s about that time of year when I take a look back at the images I’ve captured over the last six months. Though I like to do a complete review at the end of a year to find my favourites, I also like to have a quick look at the midpoint of the year. This can be a useful thing to do particularly if you think the first half of the year hasn’t been a productive one. As I find with my annual reviews, I often find things were a little better than I remembered and I can take a little confidence boost from the images I see.
As I ploughed through my images from the last six months I noticed that for some trips out with the camera I hadn’t even shared one image from that collection. This wasn’t an oversight on my part though. It’s just that I felt the images weren’t really good enough to share. It’s maybe the composition wasn’t quite right, or the light was flat, or the image just lacked “something”.
While it’s all very nice sharing my best images, I thought I would take this opportunity to share a few of those images that never made it passed the import stage. Why? Well it’s just as important to review the images you don’t like as it is to review the images you do like. By also looking at the images you don’t like you can learn why and then take that knowledge out with you on the next shoot.
By me sharing some of “misses” you can hopefully see that life isn’t full of 5-star images and that there are lessons to be learnt from every frame we take.
First up we have this panoramic image of Colmer’s Hill in Dorset that I took back in February. This is a pleasing enough image in retrospect but I think the thing that catches my eye most about this photograph is the colour in the sky. But that’s about it really. There isn’t enough low lying mist to make the foreground interesting and to separate the hill from the surrounding landscape. I could have maybe lived with the lack of mist if there had been some light on Colmer’s Hill itself, but without that either, the image just lacks a bit of contrast and punch.
It’s one of those cases of being at a location to watch the sunrise was far more exciting than the resulting photograph.
Dawlish Warren is definitely one of my favourite locations to photograph. I’ve blogged about it many times. When I was scanning through my catalogue I wasn’t surprised to find some unpublished images from that location. In retrospect though, I feel that I may have been a bit harsh with my initial critique of this image. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s an amazing image (I have better from there), but overall it’s a decent enough image.
I think the problem with this image for me is that the morning I shot it I was after something very specific so when I didn’t get it I probably just dismissed this image as not what I was after. I rather like the movement in the water and there is a bit of drama in the sky. The composition needs some work though. I’m not convinced that the central placement of the groyne marker works and while the I like the sky, I would have preferred there to be some cloud in the top right to stop the eye wandering off. Overall though it’s a better image than I first gave it credit for.
This image was taken on my first visit to Wembury so getting a really good image without having explored the area first can be a bit of a challenge. As I look at this image I’m trying to put my finger on what I don’t like about it. I like the triangular shape of the rocks going from the left, out to sea and then out to the island but I would have preferred there to have been more horizontal separation between the rock in the sea and the island in the distance. However, moving about those slippy rocks is challenging and it might have been the best position I could find.
I do however like the pastel colours in the sky and the wispy look of the water from the long exposure, but I’m also not sure that the contrast between the lightness of the sea and sky is too much against the darkness of the rocks. I am definitely a little undecided by this image. However, what I do know is that I want to visit this location again.
It certainly has been an interesting exercise writing this blog as it has got me to think a bit more about the images that I had previously rejected. In retrospect, they weren’t too bad at all. Not portfolio pieces or competition entries, but definitely images I would have been happy sharing on my blog. It just goes to show that sometimes you need to leave your images for a while before making any final decisions on them.
How long do you leave an image for before deciding on how good it is? Do you go back on a regular basis and review your images? Let me know in the comments below.
PS - Some Videos You Might Like
On the topic of image review, I thought you might like these videos which you might not have seen yet: