Don't Confuse the Process With the Result in Photography

When you have an expensive camera or you put a lot of time into a project, it can easily skew your ability to be objective about the results. It's important to not allow that to happen.

Coming to you from Ben Horne, this great video examines the idea of effort versus results. It's important to always be able to step back and look at one's own work objectively, but that can often be clouded by the amount of effort (or cost) that has gone into its creation. After all, it can be frustrating to put a large amount of time into the creation of something only for the result to not seem to justify the effort. The simple truth, however, is that sometimes, our best ideas come from fleeting moments or five-minute experiments, and other times, those hours spent toiling away might not amount to anything worth keeping. To grow as an artist, it's crucial to be able to let go of the need to have a predictably proportionate relationship between the amount of effort you put into an idea and the results you get from it. You'll feel much better and grow more having done so. 

Lead image by Pok Rie, used under Creative Commons.

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4 Comments

Because of this same concept it’s always recommended to have a film editor who wasn’t involved in the shooting process. That way the scene that took 16 gueling hours to set up and capture is easier to leave ‘on the cutting room floor’ if it doesn’t help the advance the film. No baggage- just story telling...

user-189304's picture

It's not about whether people "care", it's about consumer perception of value.

How is your product differentiated in the market place? And why can't the average person simply take the same photo with their iPhone, after having walked 50m from their car?

In any case, there are some really interesting studies (neuromarketing and neuropsychology) on the subject of subjective value, if anyone is interested.

Mike Yamin's picture

The title says "process," but the video calls it "effort." Not nitpicking, but I think it's interesting to differentiate the two. Effort is the difficulty of getting there and process is the *way* you got there. I think different processes can influence the results, like when I had an M9 and it slowed me down or when I (rarely) shoot film and it really slows me down. Unsurprisingly, my M9 produced some of my favorite and most memorable images. Definitely fun to embrace different processes.

Bill Larkin's picture

This is very important, and I feel it's something many of us overlook.