26 Weeks Camera Challenge #12: You're only as good... / by Simeon Smith


You're only as good as your last haircut. - Fran Lebowitz

I've learnt so much from following Eric Kim's blog. If you don't already, go read his stuff now. 

One thing that I noticed when I first followed his work, is that he's taken some great photos, but he doesn't continuously publish new work. He editing and selection process most be really strict. 

When he does find a photo he loves though, it goes everywhere. He regularly re-uploads the same photos. And a strange psychological phenomenon happens.

Firstly, you only see great photos, and you think that all their work must be of that quality, when in reality maybe their "hit rate" of great photos is lower than yours. But also, in recognising work you've enjoyed before, you are reminded of the warmth you felt the first time you saw the image, and enjoy it more the second and third time around. 

Another great artist that publishes few images is Lee Jeffries. 

When I went to see David Hurn speak, he said that when he was starting out, publishers were only interested in a photographer's contact sheets (the full roll of film all printed out side by side on one sheet). These days it's more acceptable to spray and pray, taking dozens or sometimes hundreds of photos and then selecting only the best, but either way many artists self edit their work even after releasing it. 

Think George Lucas going over the original Star Wars trilogy again and again with different edits. 

This week your task is one of curation and self-editing. Go through your instagram feed, your portfolio, your albums, wherever you keep your photos, and delete anything you wouldn't publish again today. 


-What have you learnt since taking the photos you deleted?

-What mistake do you still make? 

-What treasure did you unearth?