I have a problem. Not a serious problem you understand, but an annoying one. I am obsessed with sharpness. I have some great images, really artistically interesting, or showing really stunning behaviour, but I just don’t like them because some part of the subject is not razor sharp. The problem is, it means I often get home from a session feeling disappointed because I haven’t reached some kind of perfection. I have a whole library of photography books, and there are so many images in there that are gorgeous, stunning, beautiful. And not razor sharp. I don’t understand why I have such an issue with my own images, I make myself feel like the image isn’t good enough to display, even when I know that they are certainly sharp enough to be published.
So, I’m working really hard now to change how I am approaching both making, and enhancing my photos, to see their real merit, and to stop obsessing about sharpness. It’s important sometimes, of course, but not all the time. One of my favourite images of late is one that I took when on Kinder Scout (see my Edale adventure), in this image, I deliberately reduced the sharpness of the image by adding a grain effect in Lightroom, and the resulting image is far more powerful than it was before.
I feel like this is a really important step in my evolution as a photographer, moving away from a fixed and linear “recipe” for a “good” photo, and embracing variety and creativity. I’m looking forward to getting out more and more, and really trying to make the most of the opportunities that I have. Wildlife rarely gives you the time to take a second shot, so I need to embrace the quality of the images that I do take, and stop worrying that I couldn’t shave with the image. Just appreciate the artistry of nature, and enjoy the timing, lighting, and composition of my photos.