Reviewing your work

Who doesn't like getting home after a good day's shooting and going through their images. For me its mostly pretty late in the evening by the time I get back tired and hungry. But that urge to get a sneak peak is irresistible. Have I got anything half decent? Did the ones I thought were on the money turn out as well as I thought? If we are now using digital exclusively, apparently we need to spend more time in considering compositions before releasing the shutter. I'll agree with that. Less is more unless you feel compelled by circumstances, light for example to make hay while the sun shines. Even so, rushing your work will rarely yield a satisfying result. It does happen that the shot I thought was the bomb ends up being a little ordinary while another less considered image surprises us with unexpected appeal. Also, have you ever noticed that the image on the rear of the camera looks amazing where in reality, viewed on your monitor its rubbish or close to it? What were we fooled by? Going a step further, the image on the monitor looks great but the print is somewhat more ordinary? The more time we allow before printing the more considered our opinion becomes. We might even decide it doesn't warrant printing at all. Looks like we had the photographic equivalent of 'beer goggles' on. There is all sorts of in between on this topic as well. The image I was determined would work as a b&w doesn't meet expectations. With all the experimentation we can do, once it goes to print, that's the end of the road. You can make a judgment. It seems while things can be changed and adjusted we reserve our judgment. But its good to sit with an image for a length of time to see exactly how we feel about it. I once painted my wall grey and strung wires across it to hang small prints there for weeks sometimes just to see whether I really did like the shot. Before that when I had plenty of paper and ink I would print things that I later judged to be very ordinary. Apparently, a lot (close to 80%) of people in their early stages of photography have never printed an image! An inexpensive way to assess your work is to go through the motions of publishing a book. When you set out the pages and 'leaf' through it, see how you feel about it. Can you recognize a weak image? Its always good to get a second opinion and not your mum's! I've found that to be the most helpful approach to assessing my work. You may be surprised about what other people like. So I posted the above image to illustrate something. Going back and reviewing previous work. I have only printed this as a b&w because I saw it as that at the time of making it. There's no doubt for me that it works as b&w but I now appreciate it in its original colour form as well.