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My wife hates my pictures :(

TrevW 11 118 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 5:02PM
My wife and I have had yet another heated debate about photography and how a picture should look. She is not a photographer and I'm banging my head against the wall on trying to convince her that photography can also be an art form.

As far as she is concerned, photo's should be straight out of the camera and not fiddled with in any way. She hates my process methods and the arty look they sometimes have because they just don't look real or natural. I've tried to explain to her that it can also be an art form and if it looks good, what is the bloody problem! It's graphic, digital art! She said if you want a picture to look like a painting then to get paintbrushes and paint it.

Personally, I like my arty pictures and sometimes I like natural looking ones. It depends on what I feel like and what I think looks good for the scene.

I've done two example processes of the same picture, one arty and the other as natural as I can get. Can I ask you for your opinions on this and which of the two processes you'd prefer please? I'm guessing there will be two camps in this debate or am I deluded with my own work? Sad

(They look a lot better when large - honest! Tongue )

brian1208 17 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 5:05PM
Sorry, I'm another who likes images with minimum "mucking about with" so score one point for your wife Smile
Carabosse 18 41.5k 270 England
12 May 2011 5:09PM
Photography is dead - it's all about 'imaging' now. Smile

Carry on being creative. thumbs-up-light.jpg
elkiebrooks 18 83 5 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 5:10PM
I have to admit I prefer a more natural image these days but either one of the above images would do. At the end of the day, you're the one making the image and you're the one that knows what the end result should look like.

I would say if the other person doesn't like then tell them to go forth and multiply... but in this case it's your wife so that would not be a good idea. Smile

After I have processed my images and I think I have a reasonably good one I often ask her indoors for her honest opinion and it pains me to say that she is most often right Sad and I have to tone things down a bit.
CaptivePhotons 17 1.7k 2 England
12 May 2011 5:12PM
I think you should be as creative as possible whilst trying to retain a natural look Tongue
KevSB 17 1.5k 5 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 5:13PM
Same as above, The arty one is unatural looking,im not against the treatment just not sure it suits the scene. You could comprimise and merge the 2 lol
JamesGarfield 12 915 4 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 5:33PM
Try not to get too hung up on what people (wife included) think of your work afterall it's always going to be subjective. Take more notice of any technical pointers people may give you as they may be more useful. As for me well neither of those images floats my boat but that's just my opinion.
TrevW 11 118 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 5:57PM
lol! was the pun intended James?

Some interesting thoughts here. The other useful feed back would be, which way to go when selling pictures? Anyone with any experience as to what the public prefer?
SlowSong Plus
12 9.6k 30 England
12 May 2011 6:31PM
I have to say in this instance the heavy cyan cast is very offputting, but I like the more natural version. I haven't seen your other pics so I can't comment on your work in general. But if you like it, then carry on.

You'll never please everyone and in the end, it's your opinion and what you want that counts otherwise you're creating work for other people at the expense of your own preferences. Mind you, if it's selling you're interested in, then you have to know your market and tailor your product accordingly.
Cagey75 10 42 Ireland
12 May 2011 7:04PM
I wouldn't agree with her at all with the SOOC comments. Even old time film photographers processed their work, often quite heavily. Programs like Lightroom are just the digital modern equivalent of the old dark room. Does she believe that photos from film cameras are pure? they're not, they will get similar treatment just in a more physical, messier way. Also, does she think shooting jpeg, that the images off cam are untouched? Because she'd be wrong on that front too. if you shoot jpeg, with any camera, you're just allowing the camera to process for you.

Raw = the modern negative. RAW files HAVE to be processed. how much you process is up to you. Don't let anyone sway you.

In saying that, I think you over cooked the process here, as someone mentioned, way too much cyan/blue tone across the water and sky. I think if youy pulled back on that a little it'd work better.
User_Removed 11 43 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 7:05PM
Hello, I have no problem with playing about with effects in my photography as long as they work and add to the composition, however I am afraid the fiddling you have done does not work for me, but hey ho, it's all a learning curve, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.
As had been said already it subjective, the main thing is you enjoy what you are doing.
brian1208 17 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 7:18PM

Quote:which way to go when selling pictures? Anyone with any experience as to what the public prefer?

I think the simple answer is "get a piece of string and measure it! " Tongue

From my limited experience down here in Christchurch my customers buy pictures that, in their words, "they recognise".
One of our top UK landscape photographers had a large exhibition at a local venue, the images were of the usual exceptional standard, the framing and presentation was exemplary and the publicity and advertising very sound BUT as far as I know they didn't sell a picture. I followed on with my usual "Tat" in nice but not exceptional frames etc and made over 1000 in three weeks.
It was when I asked some of the buyers why they purchased my work and not from the previous exhibition that I frequently got the comments about "recognising" the images. They wanted natural colours with clear and precise lighting and detail and did not like (or understand?) strongly saturated, contrasty colours (even though I suspect in most cases these were more or less natural)

If it had been a major London or other top city gallery I suspect wouldn't have made a penny and I know the other person would have made a mint

For me, the answer has to be, know your market
BigRick 15 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 7:20PM
Hello..... i photoshop nearly every picture i take, from just a simple crop to a load of layers and colours etc.

The problem is, is that it can be done the wrong way... too much isnt always the right way to put it, as you can do MASSES to a photo and it can still look 'right' but some photos need a far more subtle aproach.

For me, the photos above are an example of when you have done too much, Sad as (as has already been said above) the blue cast across the image really puts me off, as there is changing the elements of a scene and then making the whole scene look unatural.

I am all for photoshopping, well, anything really Tongue , but it still needs to look 'right'....... BUT, and its a big but..... photos are all about personal taste, and just because some people dont like them, doesnt mean that everyone wont like them, Smile as i have found with my own pictures.

If you enjoy doing what you are doing, then, keep doing it, and just stop showing your wife your pictures Wink Tongue
Carabosse 18 41.5k 270 England
12 May 2011 8:20PM
If one is going to make changes to a photo, other than just improving contrast, colour balance, sharpness etc then it sometimes pays to be bold.

In the photo Trevor has postd you could, for example, pick up on the nnature of the photo, i.e. sailing vessel suggesting olden days. With Trevor's permission I am posting a modification which, please note, is merely an example of what I mean. It is a quick job (took me about 3 mins). With more care you could undoubtedly get a better result.

I have cropped, removed some of the boats and modern buildings and converted to sepia.

12 May 2011 10:20PM
I too am on the side of your wife here I hate to say, I process my images digitally no more than I used to do in the darkroom, as others have said, focus on the technical aspect thats what makes a great picture. Yes processing can change the look and feel but nothing beats capturing a defining moment.

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