I love TED Talks! If you haven’t had a chance to watch the excellent TED talk on the near win by Sarah Lewis, I urge you to give it a view. If you would like the condensed version I refer you to the following quote by Imogen Cunningham:
“ Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM
As an artist I can qualify the near win into two categories. The first is the image that I have created that doesn’t meet my expectations. The image I present to you today falls into this category. I really like the image and I felt I got close to the emotion I was trying to convey, a mother watching over her new children. I wanted a leading line towards mom and I will probably need to rearrange them to better achieve that effect. The main reason I will retake this photo is the rock surface; I would have preferred a softer ground for the baby spiders more suggestive of a nursery setting. I do love a challenge and I will be taking this picture again as soon as it stops raining.
The second type of near win is the dissatisfaction that comes from growing as a photographer. I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen an image for the first time as it emerges from the printer and have been blown away by the finished product. But over time familiarity and the emergence of the next new image has me feeling dissatisfied with the first image. No matter how wonderful it might have been at initial glance, I now barely give it a second look.
It is these near wins that keep me motivated to move forward and to keep making new images. I hope you will value your near wins and realize they are a natural part of growing as a photographer and as an artist.