While looking through my catalogue of photos, I realize that almost every single one of them suck. What I mean is, I don’t like them much at all. I’m including the one photo above that I like out of all of them, and even it is not that great in my opinion. [EDIT: I have removed the aforementioned photo as well as other photos heading my posts. I’ll explain this in a separate post.]
The question is, “What’s wrong with them?”
Well that’s a good question, indeed. I suppose you could say that they are missing something. I like to see a photograph with emotion and movement — a photograph that is dynamic. Good composition arises from these things, I think. A photograph that moves is a photograph that moves me.
The trick is figuring out how to take such photographs.
When I study the work of great street photographers like Cartier-Bresson, Winogrand, Erwitt, Friedlander, Moriyama, Frank, et. al., I see instantly what it is that draws me into the picture. There is movement of some kind. There is juxtaposition. There is emotion.
It’s not enough to just say, “A good photograph tells a story.” That’s too general. My goal is to figure out the details, see what it is that a great photograph transmits to a viewer and figure out how I can improve my own work by incorporating these into my own work.
As photographers, I don’t think we ever reach a point where we stop improving upon our art. We have to keep practicing, keep studying, keep learning, keep evolving, constantly changing and adapting to our own strengths and weaknesses. It’s a never-ending quest.