I am able to remove myself from my images and to look at them critically....Now that the laughing has stopped I'll tell you why. I would rather shoot than process. I find processing boring most of the time. The only time I found it exciting was when I was making copy negs under red light and watching the image form on the neg. If I could afford to do the IR DBI set up that Sean has I would definately process my stuff more often. As it is I may get around to last fall's images sometime this summer or not. I have three boxes I off load film into when I want to go shoot that way I know how things are to be processed. Those images sit for months in the boxes and I tend to forget what any of them are of. There are few exceptions to this, and I am definately not able to remove myself from those more recent images. I do not do this by choice. My windows of photographic opprotunity are slim and in truth I want to be out making images not processing them. It is a catch 22 sometimes. If I shoot I do not have a chance to process; if I process I do not have a chance to shoot.
When I get around to processing a batch of the old stuff. I find myself looking at the image anew. I find myself evaluating them, in a completely unbiased way, and ultimately trashing a few before the printing stage. Since I seldom remember what is on the negs I am about to process I do not recognize the image as I felt it when I took it. I look at it as a viewer opposed to the creator. I know I shot the image but I have lost the connection to the moment. Maybe that is what keeps many from looking at their own stuff as a viewer opposed to a creator. I am sure many folks shoot and process in a timely manner. They do not lose the connection to the moment, the event, or the light. They know why they took the shot because it is fresh in their minds.
Try it some time. Shoot a batch of images and box them for a few months. Do your best to forget about them. When you do process them see if you are able to see them in a different light.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
I cannot find that place where I don't recognize myself as the photographer; it is just too familar.
I've also looked deep within my soul and personality and in the end found that while I am "precious, one-of-a-kind in the eyes of God", it remains that I'm not a very interesting person, and you probably aren't either.