I’m not a fan of the off season.
It gets a little boring when you have not much to focus on, new, exciting material isn’t forthcoming the next event to shoot isn’t for a month or two.
In the past, you would’ve probably enjoyed the downtime or shifted your focus to another pastime or opportunity, but with all the online interaction around these days, it makes it difficult to stop as you fear for your hard earned internet popularity beginning to wane.
What the off season does allow you to do is look throught those archives of images, and perhaps show off a select few you missed first time round, refine a few edits or even something totally different.
And after much time browsing the social media channels, I’m into the latter.
One of the huge benefits of all the social channels that we are all peppered with 24/7 is that you can get great exposure for your images.
Or that’s the aim.
What I also use social media for – and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before – is the comparison and learning.
Because everyone is putting their work out on display to be scrutinized by the world, you can often use that to see what works and what doesn’t and try it for yourself.
Effects, angles, techniques and equipment used are all freely available to see and absorb, and if they aren’t you can often drop a quick comment and get a response.
I like this as it helps me work out how to practice a particular shot, figure out how an effect was achieved, and create aims for my own images.
But it can also give me a little head scratching at times, as I wonder why certain images are so much more popular that others? Call it the desire to tap into that popularity.
So I thought I’d have a little experiment.
One area of car imagery I have noticed this year is how the less adventurous work often appears to be more popular than the more creative or abstract work.
For instance, there are top end creative photographers out there with fantastic talents, whose work is appears to be seen by few when compared to the blogger with 2k worth of thumbs up on each post.
This I don’t understand.
Why? Because usually, it’s the creative that wins through, the experience and eye, rather than the quantity, but in the case of social media, it appears to be the latter rather than the former.
Now fair play to the blogger for the effort and getting the views, but what really puzzles me is how more folks appear to like the mediocre more than the exceptional or inventive.
Now I understand that there are constraints on media these days, at all levels; cost implications being the main driver, but when the media continually promote average work – I’m not sure that does anyone any good.
It appears that there are a lot of photographers out there who point, shoot and preset. Some of them do incredibly well out of that approach, and while I’m not a believer in it, I am intrigued by it.
The ‘preset’ approach – while there is nothing wrong with it – I feel, makes everything look far too similar, with images are more Auto Trader than creative photography.
And this is what I don’t understand.
The routine of taking an image of a car, racing or otherwise, appears to have a default that is employed by many to appease the masses and gain that popularity.
Take picture, add filter, post for likes. Simple.
The wider audience appear to respond better to images they can associate with, or even achieve than images that are a bit more adventurous that they don’t understand or dare challenge themselves with. It’s all very standard and saturated.
So I thought I’d have a go and see what reaction I get.
I found myself a bog standard lightroom filter, selected some images from the past year and here you go!
The only adjustment I’ve had to make is to exposure on a couple, to brighten them up where I have missed it – but other than that, these are off the camera, no cropping, no retouching (look for the lens spots) and no other alteration.
I would love to know what you think of them.