a different way of seeing your own photos

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by Luke, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Real Name:
    Although I've been shooting for a few years, I have yet to develop a "style". At least one that is readily identifiable to me. One of my problems is that I love so many disparate kinds of photography. I'm pretty OK with that. Some people are specialists and others are generalists. The world needs both kinds of people. In many areas of my life, I am very much a specialist. And in those areas, I like that my skill set and knowledge is at the top of the heap. But in photography, because I like so many different aspects and styles, I actually prefer to be a jack of all trades.

    So I was just on flickr catching up with my contact photos and noticed that someone new had faved 4 of my photos. I meant to click on thier name to see what kinds of stuff they shot, but I accidentally clicked on the word favorites. I was brought to their "favorites" page. I had never viewed anyone else's favorites before. It's pretty enlightening seeing what someone curates as their own favorites. Seeing my photos mixed in with their favorites, everything clicked. My photos actually looked better, by being with photos that they fit with. It's funny that they found me. Nearly all of their favorites are black and white, and I just don't do that many. So it was cool to see someone who likes black and white and liked some of mine. No one will ever mistake me as a b/w master. But if I'm a generalist who can at least be competent in b/w, I'm fine with that.

    Here's their favorites..... D.21's favorite photos and videos | Flickr

    Here's mine.... http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukinosity/favorites/ (mine sure look much more random, but I guess that's just my taste)
    • Like Like x 2
  2. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I had a (very) brief click onto D.21's faves. I find it a dangerous occupation because then I want to fave all their faves LOL! I do know what you mean however. I used to worry that I had no style that was easily identifiable and gave up after a while. Like you, I find lots to admire in all kinds of style so perhaps it doesn't matter if we just carry on doing a bit of this and that and perhaps taking a little on board from all the images around us. I think that's a good thing.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    It sounds like we are similar in what we like, everything!, and yet I do somewhat have a style in the things that I shoot more of like my macro and my architecture/landscape stuff. They say if you are going to showcase your work that themes help so that is probably why your photos ended up in that other guy's favorites and look so well there to you. You can see the power of a genre or even a mood, the broody black and white. If you were to make a portfolio of your work you would categorize stuff, landscapes, street, portrait, still life, maybe further divide by black and white or hdr. Now if you were in a business and you wanted to attract a certain type of people, you would prune your categories even more so prospective clients get you, they see what your style is and you probably do have a style in several areas, however, because you shoot so many genres you probably haven't totally mastered all of them. I haven't ever used Flickr enough to see where the favorites would go, in fact I don't think I have even faved anything myself, but I could visualize what those galleries would look like because I know I either have the brightly colored macro images of objects and plants or the broody old architecture/traintracks/bridges/cemetery shots. And then street. It was strange the first time a friend told me she could spot my stuff easily, she knew my style. After a while I had to think about it and I do have certain looks going, you probably do too. And jack of all trades when you are just doing it for fun is a great thing to be.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Livnius

    Livnius SC Veteran

    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    Real Name:
    Going through other peoples list of Flickr faves is something I do a lot of, it's like a 'shortcut' to some really amazing images...many of them posted long ago that would probably never show up during my regular group photo pool browsing. It's great to use that persons other faves to perhaps understand how or what that person may see in your image...at times I get the feeling that I can become quite numb (probably an overly harsh word) to my own images so trying to see them the way someone else 'might' be seeing them can be a fun exercise, for myself it can almost be an exercise of self reflection of where my own work was, is and may be at.

    I love all types of photography and I don't think I have a particular genre I like more than others...I guess that explains why at one point or another I've tried a few things.....yeah I've tried the big 10 stop long exposure, recently tried my hand at some macro and not too long ago I spent a day trying a bit of "in yo face" street photography, each time I learn something new. This summer I'm off with friends on a 2 week holiday by a lake up in the mountains almost 5 hours from the big city, PERFECT opportunity to perhaps try some astro photography :)

    Despite some people's insistence that I do have a distinct style to my images I'm not so sure, I certainly don't have a fave genre that much is fe certain, I quite like the fact that I enjoy it all, but understand that over time I may begin to focus my efforts to a genre and perhaps develop somewhat of a signature look.

    I've been doing this for only just over a year and all I can hope for the future is that it continues to be as unbelievably enjoyable as it is now.
  5. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    You do need to try the astro photography! It is too light polluted here where I live to do that.. but I would love to one day.
  6. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    I love going through people's favorites on Flickr! But it is a major time suck! I limit myself to a few minutes a day, but it is a great way to find beautiful work and inspiration. Lately, a few artists (painters, abstract photographers) have been favorite'ing a few of my photos.

    I am a generalist and I don't think I could ever specialize in one kind of photography, just as I don't want to enjoy just one kind of food!

    Here are my Flickr favorites. It is interesting to study them over time and see just what people do with photography. There is no end to it. I wish I could print a book or poster of them all!
  7. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Gary Ayala
    I believe style is the last thing one develops in any artistic enterprise. Whether in music or painting or dance, et al, one has first to master the basics, then learn and emulate others (mentors et cetera) ... then, over time, one can expand upon what they have learned and then apply those skills and experiences to break out of the box and create something which is unique and individualized to yourself.

    Unfortunately, for most of us, style takes time. You can just buy a "pro" camera and develop a style, you can't buy "pro" lens and have a style, you can't just buy a CD filled of plug-ins and then say you have a style of your own (you'll have the style of the plug-in ). Style is an evolutionary development charted over years of perfecting one's craft.

    Many on this forum already have developed a style, a signature ... that I can recognized even before reading who authored the post.

    • Like Like x 1