Landscape Photographer from South Manchester, UK - often found shooting in the Peak District National Park.
Winner of the Campaign for National Parks 2019 Photography Competition, Ambassador for Formatt Hitech Filters Ambassador and Let’s Go Peak District.
They say “iron sharpens iron”, suggesting that it takes like-minded individuals to encourage and help each other to improve. In many ways, being part of the photography community is just that - as we see each other’s images we become inspired and encouraged with new ideas, projects and techniques growing out of what we see.
Unavoidably, it also breeds a sense of measuring up our work against another’s similar shots – “they had better conditions than I did at that location”, “my composition is stronger”, etc… There’s certainly a lot to be said for allowing ourselves to be self-critical – or rather self-critique-able – looking at our own work to find what does not sit easily within it and how we could improve next time. Other photographer’s similar images can absolutely be a help in this regard, as well as providing viewing enjoyment.
However, we also need to be mindful of constantly weighing our work in that way. As attributed to President Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of Joy”; meaning that if we spend too long directly evaluating ourselves against someone else (or in this case, our images against theirs) we may find ourselves disillusioned rather than inspired, or (perhaps worse) arrogant rather than open-minded.
I have a tendency towards that slippery slope of becoming disillusioned through comparison, so one photographer whose work I find immensely inspiring and refreshing is Ben Horne. It’s precisely because his work and approach are so different to my own that I find it more eye-opening and challenging than that of many other photographers.
This article is open to paid and unpaid subscribers so requires at least a free subscription to access. Please take a look at the subscribe page for more information.