I'm sure all artists suffer from days when they wonder what the hell they are doing. None of the things they try turn out as they want, they lack inspiration and the reaction of other people to their work ranges from at best lukewarm , through "meh" to just downright hate.
I have to admit I've been going through one of those phases recently.
My entries to photo competitions have garnered far fewer marks than I expected. When I have gone out and taken photos, I have not managed to get the quality and results I want. I reached the point where I wonder whether I was kidding myself that I had any ability at all in photography and perhaps I should just give up and take up a new hobby like basket weaving. (Please note I am not comparing myself here with a real artist, just anyone with artistic pretensions)
It is also very easy to start comparing yourself with others, and feel you will never get to their level. Recently we had a talk at the local photo club from someone who had just achieved their CPAGB qualification. This is the first time I had heard of this and it was fascinating to learn about the judging process, which is a akin to a photographic competition on steroids. The best analogy I can think off is having to present your photos while standing in front of the judges stark naked.
Anyway ,with that image in your heads, the process requires you to present 10 photos and 6 judges mark them from 2 to 5 (why 2? - Ed.) and you need to garner an average mark of 20 marks per photo to achieve the CPAGB qualification (this is just the 1st level, there are other levels that can be obtained).
The scary thing was that despite this persons photographs being excellent and often winning or getting close to the top in internal club competitions, in the CPAGB judging they only just scraped enough marks to get a CPAGB award.
This made me realise the huge gulf between me and even the lowest level of professional photography.
Anyway I decided I needed to take a step back and have rethink and review of my photography. Was there anything I could do differently? How could I improve my level? Am I kidding myself about my ability?
I think in these situations it is also important to not let despondency get the better of you and actually get out and take some photos.
This is what I did.
And this was the result.
This was taken on the way to work, on a particular cold and frosty morning at a local windfarm. I must admit it has been heavily processed, by doing a HDR conversion on the ground, but the sky is pretty close to the original.
I am really happy with it, and seems to been reasonably received on 500px which is never a bad sign.
Anyway as a result, I feeling a little better about my photos. As the old adage says, if you fall of your bike, you need to get straight back on.