Do you have someone like an "editor"?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by stradibarrius, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Do you have someone who looks through your photos/negatives with you and helps you decide which ones you want to enter into contest or print or whatever?

    Sometimes I feel like I think, look and work with my shots so much that "I can't see the forest for the trees"
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Not for negatives, but I have used photographer friends in the past to help select for exhibitions etc.

    While I'll have made the original print selection it helps to discuss and fine tune the final selection and often the sequencing as well.

    I'm actually doing the same again for 3 separate exhibitions which are being shown late 2011 and early 2012, and with one body of work that includes the work in progress stages and may influence what further images I shoot.

    So yes I do get others involved at the editorial stages and have done for over 20 years, sometimes you can't step back and take an impartial look at what your producing.

    Ian
     
  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I am involved with a lot of show preparation, with my line of work.

    Unlike Ian , I do not recommend other photographer friends to help edit work.
    Same goes for Wives, family and friends. They are too close or may be pissed at you , or jealous, envious who knows...

    What I suggest is choose a associate who is not too close to you, but pick someone you really respect, offer to buy them a really nice lunch and prepare a proposal of your planned exhibit, what the work means to you and have them give you an unbiased review of your images.
    This will mean that you will have self edited down to a realistic number of images for the viewer to look at.
    If the show/portfolio is to be 15-30 images then present 75 -100 decently presented images for them to view.
    You may pick two or more **editors** for this purpose and I believe you will get a much better idea if your images are working with your ideas of a show.
    Over time these people will understand your projects and be a wonderful resource and only cost you a few nice meals, which of course you enjoy as well. Otherwise I would pay a good editor to look at your work , but this could be expensive to get a really good eye and unbiased opinion.

    I will also add , with experience and time doing this , I have come to a conclusion the most, photographers*not all* but most , are the worst editors of their work.
    I am currently preparing for my first showing of my own work and am preparing about 150 test prints to put in front of a few eyes I trust, I hope they like good food.

     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    In our camera club, we'll often seek each other out for editorial purposes. I know I do, and others use me for the same purpose. It's always good to get a second or third set of eyes on the subject.
     
  5. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I am about to enter 2-3 photographs in a juried show in Jan. and would like to try to select some of my better shots.

    Is there a section here at APUG for this type critique. Obviously there is tremendous talent and experience here. I know there is a "critique" section but would that be the proper place to get this "editorial" type help?
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You're right Bob, however my choice is people I respect who've usually exhibited widely, and most importantly don't produce work remotely similar.

    Back in the 1980's when I had my first solo exhibition I did work with a close friend who also often joined me when I was shooting, and yes that was a mistake, it did his own photograph no good, while he's still a close friend and supportive I have never got him involved again.

    So yes your advice is sound, and in reality I did as you are in fact suggesting, even the wining & dining :D

    I guess like you I've some advantages because I curated a number of exhibitions for an Arts Centre in the late 80's & through the 90's, and was involved with various funded arts groups.

    It's a big learning curve but as you progress it becomes easier over the years. Also the circle of people you can ask for help grows wider.

    Ian
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Sometimes I will show my wife several test prints and ask her which one she likes the best. Since she's pretty much ignorant of the photographic process and I never tell her what she is looking for, I find it an informative nudge.
     
  8. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I've actually found Flickr to be an interesting way to get a first edit. If people view, comment or mark as a favorite, that tells you something. It isn't the same as having someone you respect looking at it, but it is unbiased and quantitative. It is pretty clear which ones seem to resonate with people. The trick is to figure out which groups to place them in.
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I have a photography instructor that I trust and respect. From time to time, I bring him few of my work and he gives me his opinions - good and bad.
    I do not do this on regular basis though. I usually make contact prints and look through. Try to print what I like and see how they come out in the end.

    I also have a girlfriend who likes to look at my work but she is non-photographer. Sometimes, non-enthusiasts opinions do help.
     
  10. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Self-editing is an oxymoron(thanks to Axe for the correct sp). One needs to be brutual. You can boil it down to a (insert number) but the last 10, needs input from someone who is not emotional involved with the photographer or even the image. The only question becomes DOES IT WORK.?

    Let me try to add to this to be clearer. As an example when we a critque in class, 9 out of 10 times, it is one excuse after another, or I like it that way, or......

    It is very difficult to step back and pick your favorite image, you may review and pick several for a show and then be told, only one. That becomes harder IMO, and then it is great to have an honest knowledgeable individual who can guide you will the proper questions to assist in making the decision.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2010
  11. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Quite often I ask my wife for opinions, especially when I was putting CiM out. She has an eye for the visual. And even though she does not like Black and White she does have a good way of seeing it. I even ask her for ideas for contrast control in printing. There have been a few I tried where I had burning block and doggonit if she wasn't right.
     
  12. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Isn't this something of a trick question? I mean, either you have an editor or you don't. An editor decides, they don't exactly help decide. If you have veto power over your editor, then you don't have an editor! Okay, maybe J. K. Rowling and Stephen King have editors who make "suggestions" that are either followed or not.

    Example: I basically shoot and print whatever I want, but when it comes to display in public my wife makes the call. This is because she owns the walls they are displayed on. Fortunately we usually agree. When we disagree, I can't help but take it personally and can only thank my luck that photography is not my bread and butter. Or an editor would drive me nuts.
     
  13. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    Learn to edit your own work. (Unless you are working for someone else. Then they are going to take what they want.) Taking pictures is easy. Editing is the skill that gets your work in front of others. Bad editing gives bad results. Other people will simply edit for themselves and so you simply see their vision. Editing in turn makes you a better photographer as you can start weeding out ineffective ideas/methods/subjects/compositions.

    BTW, I have work(ed) professionally in art direction/editing. There is nothing worse than getting work from photographers that can't edit.
     
  14. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    No.
     
  15. Markster

    Markster Member

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    When I've done some digital creation work in Photoshop, I also run into this problem. Rather than turn to others (though I do appreciate peer review, I don't always heed the advice given), I step away from it. I don't look at it. I close the file and don't even think about it for a full week.

    Then I come back with fresh eyes and spot new things in the photoshop file. I say "oh, that effect is gaudy," or "did I really miss this detail?" and keep working until I think I'm done or nearly so. Then repeat the 1-week-cooldown.

    I would imagine the same works for photography, as long as you're not on a deadline.
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I disagree. The most important question is and remains: is it what i (!) wanted it to be. Something only you can answer and decide.
    (Unless you communicate in a non-photographic way what it is you are aiming to communicate through your photos. Do you want to write and present essays, or produce images?)

    The thing with this question is that you really should not need an editor. If you know what you are doing, what it is what you are hoping to achieve, and work towards that, the editing is in the creative act/process itself.

    But yes, if you just point your camera at things in a random fashion, editing afterwards (i.e. trying to detect a possible link between, a consistency in, the things you have brought home) could be a good idea.
    A better idea, however, would be to avoid that completely, and work deliberately.