Most of Your Work Sucks

In the ten or so years I’ve been shooting photos, I cannot tell you how many I’ve taken.  Not because the number is so staggeringly large (it’s probably under 100,000) but because I’ve deleted so many I have no way to keep an accurate tally anymore.  If you were to look through the ones that I’ve deemed "good enough" to keep, you’d probably say that most of them sucked.  This culling process is one of the reasons there are only 85 photographs on my website, spread across 5 different categories.  Still, looking at that site now, with nearly a year between today and my last significant photography project, I could easily cut half the shots featured there.

But, that’s the nature of creative work.  Nobody produces all masterpieces.  In a medium like photography, creating great work means producing a lot of work.  When Ansel Adams was still a full time professional landscape photographer, he used to say he was doing great if he got 12 significant images per year.  In a medium like writing, creating great work means not only producing a lot of work, but doing even more editing.  Honing ideas, stories, scenes, and phrases until they are as good as they can reasonably be.  Even though most of your output may suck, with enough refinement, you can eventually produce something fantastic.

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Posted: May 21st, 2011
at 10:55am by mnp


Categories: myninjaplease,life,art,too good to be true,weaponry,photo,development,blogs

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