I enjoy a good argument; not because I enjoy pummeling people with words, but because the exercise forces one to focus on the validity of their reasons for holding a given opinion. The moment one utters words somewhere near, “Because ______________ says so …” they’ve lost the argument.
My most frequent argument, however, is with myself and typically involves the question of how best to process a set of pictures. Whether to go with color or black and white is just the tip of the iceberg. For every choice made, there are dozens of subsequent possible permutations that would dramatically change the impact and appearance of the picture.
Deciding which combination of options is best for a picture is a decision I must make for myself. There’s no book dictating what I must do. No art director is standing over my shoulder with a color chart. I must make the decision and that decision has to be based in reason, not mere aesthetics, or else I won’t be satisfied with the results. The intensity of these debates can be severe.
The arguments begin early in the conceptual stages of a shoot. Artificial lighting versus ambient versus sunlight. Indoor versus outdoor. Studio versus location. Any option can be viable to any shoot, so the reasoning has to be sound. Rarely do answers come easily, such as, “We have to shoot outdoors because we can’t fit five horses in the studio.”
After the shoot, arguments get down to details. “The elbow in this picture is in a better position than that one,” or “the distance between fingers works better in this picture,” can elicit responses in my head of, “WHY? What makes it better? Justify your opinion, please.” Answering those questions is typically not easy.
Even after the pictures are processed and ready to share, I’m still fussing. Processing sometimes changes my opinion of a picture; what I initially liked about it no longer seems as appealing. I have over 30 photos from this set. That’s too many to post in a gallery. Which ones should I share?
The intensity of these arguments hopefully results in better pictures, but sometimes it just means I’m distracted by details and fail to consider the overall aesthetic, which is the first thing people notice about an image. The level of my intensity is not always reflective of quality. My decisions are not always correct.
In the end, I watch and gauge your opinions. That I look for external validation of my reason is a flaw in my logic, but when I say, “Enjoy,” I really hope you do.
Enjoy.[Disable Flash Gallery]