Friday, 21 September 2012

Not as bad as I thought

This is kind of a useful lesson, I think. I was disappointed by the many photos I took in Kings's Lynn on Monday and quickly decided that all but maybe one were too poor to share. Then today, reluctant to get on with a long editing job and hunting for a displacement activity, I had another look. Oh. One or two were not so bad, perhaps -  worth going through them to see what might be salvageable. I spent an absorbed couple of hours and ended up with nearly sixty photos - not the greatest (certainly, the light that day was difficult and I wasn't wholly up to the challenge), but a quite interesting set that give an impression of the place.

Why, going back a few days later, in another mood, did I judge them so differently? I don't really know, but it does tell me not to be so tough on everything or quick to dismiss what's imperfect as valueless. One day I thought: well, you failed at that. Another day I thought: I saw a lot in this very lovely and intriguing town, captured a little of it, and if I go back I'll be keen to try and do better.

I have a feeling this lesson applies to many things in life!

12 comments:

Jade said...

That photo is so lovely! And your words are very true. Some people say one man's garbage is another man's treasure, and sometimes it's just a matter of asking the same "man" on a different day!

Blessings & peace to you.

Rachel Fox said...

I have a poem (that I've never finished to my satisfaction!) about how we wear different glasses on different days and how our moods/opinions are affected by this more than we think. The metaphor's kind of clumsy maybe... I've changed the poem many times and it's still not "perfect".
x

marja-leena said...

The photos are marvelous, Jean! I'm glad you saved them to share here. Such lovely old buildings but I found it odd how almost deserted it appears, at least in these shots. What an interesting old town, and there's George Vancouver! That made me recall a story in our paper a few years about our city's namesake and this place.

Jean said...

Marja-Leena, it's a rather quiet town. Also, all the museums are closed on Mondays, so few tourists. And finally, there are no shops in my photos, although there are plenty in the town, of course, and all full of people.

Jean said...

You're right, though, Marja-Leena -looking at the photos again, the overall effect is one of rather eery emptiness! I was so focused on light and composition, I didn't really notice. It was quiet, but not quite that quiet! I think, since there were few people about, I mostly stood and waited until they'd walked out of shot.

Beth said...

jean, I'm so glad you saved these and made the set, which I thought was terrific and very evocative. You've made me want to see it in person...
the light and flatness seemed vaguely dutch to me, but the buildings entirely English. And all that brick, and the elaborate flintwork! I'm so envious of this rich visual history that you live with in Europe; it has a beauty none of our villages can match.

Lucy said...

They really are a great set, and to me the light looks beautiful. It's odd your initial dissatisfaction, but it happens so often, doesn't it? Perhaps it's to do with our expectations of what 'good' photographs should look like, or whether it's because there's a disconnect between our own impressions of the place and the moment and what the photos seem to show...

I too now long to see the town;'Hanseatic' is such an evocative word.

Leslee said...

Wonderful set, Jean! I'm glad you saved them - and shared your story because it resonated with me. Sometimes the joy and involvement of taking photographs, seeing, just doesn't match up with the photos when I upload them, which is disappointing. But these really do convey a sense of the place - and your eye. Love the wide flatness as well as the little things you noted while wandering around, the way the light played over a floor, the bright blue door in all that monochrome. Lovely set.

Dick said...

What they all said, Jean! I love King's Lynn and this set represents its beauties so well. I went there first as a child during an East Anglian holiday and the freedom of these images from human impedimenta has me straight back to the '50s!

Lorianne said...

What you say about taking photos really resonates with my experience as a writer/journal-keeper. Many, many times I think I've filled a page with utter nonsense...only to go back later and realize there is something salvageable there.

I think that's why it's so important to leave some time between composition and revision. Not only is it easier to cut something you've gained some distance from, you can also better appreciate the good stuff, as if you're looking at something someone ELSE wrote.

(In your photo-set, I love the close-up picture of the chains. So dramatic!)

alembic said...

I am so glad you shared these photos. The play of light and line, of reflective surfaces and those that gobble up the light are wonderful to see in the series as a whole. And yes to the lessons from the experience. I know what you mean. My daily Mt. Tam blog is a practice to deal with the tyranny of mood in these matters.

Taradharma said...

Yes, I agree that it applies to many things in life. I often review old photographs I've taken, and with time and space between the initial action and now, I do find gems where I didn't see them before. Something originally pulled me in to photograph it, then upon first review I couldn't see it. I put it away for months, maybe years, and bam! I see it. Strange, yes?