Choices

For me, the hardest part of being a creative, is making choices. Choices are very difficult for me. Decisiveness is not one of my strengths; I like to keep my options open until the very last minute.

When I’m presented with a variety of excellent photographs to choose from while editing I tend to freeze. I hesitate to choose that final image because I know whatever I choose, there will be no turning back. I’m not one of those artists that’s able to look through old work or the desk top trash can and create amazing new work. I’m sure I’m only hurting myself, but what artist isn’t their own worst enemy?

I’m going to show you a series of photos of two skeletons I created for Valentine’s Day. I wanted to express a love that is still growing, even in death. I feel each one of these photos is a winner in its own way. As an exercise in making choices, I would like to know which one you would have chosen?

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#1
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#2
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#3
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#4
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#5

Which one is your favorite and why?

~ Shelly

ps – This is also a very good demonstration of why I rarely never use a tri-pod.

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actiotos
4 years ago

#3 is absolutely amazing. I love the position and the focus on the flowers. For me it’s similar to #5 picture; I prefer these instead of the others because the position, as I said before, is rare and the colors are less marked.

actiotos
4 years ago
Reply to  Shelly

Yes, for this I love it.
Anyway, every picture is amazing. ;)

Stacy Phillips
4 years ago

I think #2 is my favourite, because it looks like the figures are staring lovingly at each other, and you get a bit more of their faces than in #1. I like the zoomed out view in #4 too, but they’re not facing each other. They’re all amazing shots though, I can see why you would have trouble choosing one! I think this is a really interesting post and I’ll definitely be checking back to see what other people’s thoughts are!

Ben Teoh
4 years ago

It was a toss up between #1 and #2 for me. I like how these both have the faces in focus and looking at each other. Between the two, I’d go with #1 – I feel the angle is better to show them lying down and I like the shallow depth of field and separation you get from the background. With that said though, if they were looking at each other in #3 I would have gone with that. More often than not, I choose photos after I’ve packed up and headed home. But when I get a chance to… Read more »

Margaret
4 years ago

They’re all great, I like #2 best with #4 a close second. I like how they are looking at each other in #2.

aliceincleveland
aliceincleveland
4 years ago

Number 3 is the only one that made me pause and study. All of the other ones look like you took a photo of some figures, but number 3 looks like the figures are simply there. I think that it has to do with the perspective. If the figures are on the ground than you need to be on the ground too. The toy perspective needs to be eye level with the toy.

Andy
4 years ago
Reply to  Shelly

“Since i was posting this to social media I knew people would only see it for a 1/2 second so I ended up choosing an image that would be instantly recognizable. ” That is very interesting. It’s too bad because I feel like on social media, people don’t take the time to see the picture at its full scale… I realized some of my average pictures that look good in thumbnail get more attention that better picture (to my opinion of course) looking less good in thumbnail… All your 5 pictures are very nice but, #3 is my favorite because… Read more »

Lyn Miller-Lachmann
4 years ago

My favorite is #1 because the characters are facing each other, and the eye contact makes the gesture ring true. #2 is almost there. It’s a better angle in many ways but they’re leaning away from each other.

Kristina
4 years ago

I’m not the one making the choice here, and I agree it’s difficult to make a choice, because it’s so definitive. When I look through the pictures I see different things and different perspectives. And it’s really nice of you to share this process with us. And I really think that by letting us be part of the process you can grow as a photographer, but my experience of sharing different pictures of a scenery and letting people share there opinion always get me to second guess myself and my decision so I think you are really brave doing this… Read more »

James Garcia
4 years ago
Reply to  Kristina

Totally know what you mean! I will often pick a favorite, and then ask my wife what she thinks. She often picks a different photo than I did, which just makes me rethink the entire process!

James Garcia
4 years ago

Great post, Shelly! Glad that I’m not the only one who has a hard time picking a favorite from some particular shoots. Personally I like shot #3 the best, for the same focus reasons stated above by others. All of them are simply fantastic though!

The split consensus here and your own thoughts tell me something else that often happens to me: I’ll like each photo for a different reason! Sometimes I wish I could just blend certain elements from different photos (the pose here, the positioning here, the focus here, etc.) to make the best version.

James Garcia
4 years ago
Reply to  Shelly

Well said, Shelly! That’s definitely something I need to work on. Often I let my impatience get the better of me. I need to get past the feeling that it’s too inconvenient to go back to a location or set up the whole shot again.

So far this year I’ve been working on holding onto a photo for a while before releasing it, and making sure I got the best shot possible (and, gasp!, reshooting if need be) is definitely the next step!

Maëlick
4 years ago

Having had a lot of fun in the 90’s as a kid while playing with classic LEGO skeleton, I’m a big fan of their funny faces. So contrary to almost everyone I feel frustrated not being to see their face on the photos where they are facing each other.

My favorite is definitely #4. I also like that it’s zoomed out and let’s us see more of the moss. My second favorite is #3 because of the point of view.