Why You Should Study Your Bad Photos

When you are culling your photos and come across a bad image, you probably just delete it and move on. But perhaps you should linger on it for just a bit, as you can learn just as much (if not more) from bad images than you can from good images. This excellent video discusses why that is.

Coming to you from Nigel Danson, this helpful video discusses the importance of studying your bad photos. We all take bad photos, and a lot of us tend to just pitch them out and move on. However, none of us intend to take poor photos; so, that leaves the question of where our intention became uncoupled from our execution. Taking the time to understand where you went wrong can help you to understand where you may have some weaknesses in your technique, composition, etc. This will, of course, allow you to then fix whatever caused you to take a bad photo and increase your chances of getting it right in the future. Check out the video above for Danson's full thoughts.

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Robert Montgomery's picture

If you never look to see what you did wrong in your personal pile of turds. You will never progess and get better . Never knowing what you did wrong or figuring out how not to repeat the same mistake twice. Personally I learn more from the bad than I do from the good .

Terry Waggoner's picture

Most cannot or will not recognize their "turds".

Timothy Gasper's picture

You are right sir. Perhaps we should all keep in mind this...."To thine own self..be true".

Terry Waggoner's picture

Just to be clear........I was including myself in that comment..........;)

Simon Patterson's picture

I can't speak for anybody else, but I have hard discs full of photos that are turds!

Terry Waggoner's picture

.......... and every time I go back and review those past images.......they become more and more painful to look at.......

Timothy Gasper's picture

LOL....ok, I understand sir. And believe me....I know when I create turds as well. I believe we all have an exponential amount of turds compared to very good ones. Well...maybe I should speak for myself

Stuart Carver's picture

True, also if you can’t admit that you need to improve, or are happy to keep learning you will also stand still. A lot of people have a lot of opinions about themselves that are not accurate.

Dennis Johnson's picture

define a bad photo? is a bad photo a photo that doesnt meet your expectations ?

Timothy Gasper's picture

I feel that each of us will define what a bad photo is. Then again...what might be horrible to one person could be the most beautiful photograph to the next person. It's all subjective to the viewer.

Timothy Gasper's picture

Thank you for this article. When i was learning photography, and later teaching, we always turned in all our prints and negs/slides, both good ones and bad ones. While learning, we left it up to the instructor which ones were not as good as others. I applied the same principle when teaching. I also made it a point to keep some bad ones i felt might be useful for future shootings. This habit has paid off pretty well over the years and it wasn't too long that the practice was no longer necessary as i could remember what was (is) important to look for. Thank you again sir.

Marcus Joyce's picture

Jamie Windsor - when bad images are better

Tom Reichner's picture

I believe that many of us don't need to "study" our bad images, because we know exactly what was wrong with the scene before we even pressed the shutter. Why study and examine something when I already know what the faults and weaknesses are? That doesn't make sense.

Marcus Joyce's picture

I'm all to hastey to take a photo. But I at least try to control the background. Blinking, facial expressions etc. It's a lot to take in with a group of people