A skewed sense of perspective


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
...Read More

A skewed sense of perspective

3 Jul 2021 8:47AM   Views : 504 Unique : 295


The Skew tool in Photoshop is one of my favourites… It allows me to straighten wayward verticals and horizontals, and the effect on human shapes is all but unnoticeable. But sometimes one’s sense of perspective is dulled by being in one’s own little well. Silo culture, it was called when I was still at work… Nowadays, the echo chamber is a similar thing, though possibly that’s more intentional – if you showed people the other siloes they usually understood they needed to take account of different perspectives.


Anyway… We’re here in a little EPZ silo, and some of us have other existences in other siloes. Work, church, clubs and so on all provide other perspectives, but I tend to avoid social media: I find them random, confusing, and hard to navigate, although I’m told that they’re excellent for publicising businesses and many other things. I have an Instagram account, but I don’t use it often, and I’m not sure of my username.
One of the plainer-speaking models I know made me aware of the yawning gulf between our worlds when I told her how well an image of her was doing on this site – plenty of votes, by my standards, and a few awards. She pointed out how many THOUSAND loves she’d had for the same image on IG. What to make of that?


On the one hand, I am sure that most of Instagram’s viewers take a more casual approach to photography than members here, and will click on an image that will do very badly here, especially from a model someone is ‘following’ – so clickage will be higher. On the other hand, the respect of one’s peers is a more solid thing than a thousand click-and-forget votes. (Mind you, I’ve seen some really poor shots get votes and even awards here at EPZ – I apologise for the shiver that has sent down the spines of sensitive readers who know EXACTLY what I mean!)


Some time ago, I took a rather poor picture of a robin in our sun room ((there’s nowhere to attach one to our house, so it’s a freestanding building part-way down the garden). I posted it on here, and also on a Certain Social Media site, with suitable disclaimers in both places. I know it’s a poor shot compared with expert birders’ output. It’s special for me (and Mrs D) because it’s a bird inside our space – (and Mrs D asked me for a print!)

I was roundly told off by a friend for talking my own picture down: she was judging by snapshot standards, not serious photographer ones. Maybe – in that context – it’s fair enough between friends, but I am quite a serious sort of picture-taker, and I differentiate between my uncontemplated family snaps and the pictures that I construct carefully.


Some of this is about the relative size of fish and ponds… You can be the best photographer in a club, and find that your pictures fall flat everywhere else, including this website. And you may find that an image garnering votes and awards here isn’t any sort of contender in other contexts (been there, done that). But with this, it’s possible to sort out a kind of ranking between different arenas, and that’s not entirely my point.

My intention is to suggest that there may be genuinely alternative standards operating in other spheres of interest – and that a narrow view of what constitutes good may hinder your appreciation of images (and other things, too). In turn, this can upset our appreciation of people – and that is a major problem.


Recent blogs by dudler

Focus scales

If you’ve been taking pictures since before autofocus arrived, you’ll be very familiar with focus scales – they are one of the primary controls on an old-school camera, and just one more of the things that you really needed to get right. With autof...

Posted: 27 Dec 2022 7:01AM

Porcelain processing

People commented on the look in my last post and it seems like a good idea to share the secrets for Christmas. I learned the technique several years ago: a model’s boyfriend told me about it, and a website that described it in detail: I tried it, l...

Posted: 23 Dec 2022 10:47AM

You develop your own films don’t you?

If you have your own darkroom, or if you use film cameras regularly, there are always a few people who mention the attic. As in ‘Grandpa’s cameras are in the attic. I don’t even know if they have film in them!’ This leads me to ask if I can have a l...

Posted: 16 Aug 2022 11:17AM

Choose your pond

There’s an old saying about being a big fish and a little pond. Do you want to be the most important person in a small organisation, or are you content being a relatively small cog in a big machine? It’s the same in photography. With relatively mo...

Posted: 3 Jun 2022 2:25PM

Graduated filters

This is for Hannah, and anyone else who has come across the casual way that a lot of togs talk about one or two types of filter that landscaper photographers use a lot: graduated filters and neutral density filters. A graduated filter is one that i...

Posted: 25 Apr 2022 12:18PM


dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
3 Jul 2021 8:48AM
What's your perspective on this?
kaybee Avatar
kaybee 19 8.7k 28 Scotland
3 Jul 2021 11:43AM
I fully agree - it is Horses For Courses and the audience that views. after all a book that goes down a storm at the local nursey is unlikely to be highly appreciated at the Literary Guild.
If all you want is peoples admiration and to say "Look how good I am" then anti-social media is probably the place to go and you will no doubt be the one that will win the argument...

My pictures are for me and if anyone else likes them then it is a bonus.
When it comes to others' work ... it is good if I like it - but it may very well be good even when I don't like it and that may well vary with my mood.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you can't argue with stupid because stupid will always win.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
3 Jul 2021 12:48PM
There's wisdom in the last line, in particular. (Or is it that stupid doesn't know when it's lost, so goes on anyway? Think Trump...)
JuBarney Avatar
JuBarney Plus
12 36 7 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2021 6:16PM
A really interesting Blog and love the images especially the coastal seascape
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
3 Jul 2021 6:32PM
Thanks, Ju. Porlock Bay, from the Porlock Weir end: I used to visit very regularly, part of a family shift system to visit my favourite elderly aunt in her last few years. The last two shots are of her old house, now, I think, with new residents.

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.