02 May 2013 -- click here for earlier articles
Many photographers reckon that they have to 'live with' a picture for a while before they can judge it properly. Something that looks good when it first comes out of the wash-bath, or rolls off the ink-jet printer, may prove to lack staying power. Equally, there are pictures which we like well enough when we first see them, but about which we cannot get excited. After living with them for a few days or even weeks, however, we begin to see more and more in them; they may even join the ranks of our favourites.
Another version of the same thing, which I prefer, is 'fermentation'. It's like 'living with' the picture, but it doesn't involve looking at it every day. You leave it in a box, and look at it occasionally. When you do, you can have one of three reactions. The first is that your feelings about it haven't changed much; the second is that you don't like it as well; and the third is that you like it more. For me, the advantage of the 'fermentation' system is that you don't have familiarity to blunt your appreciation. Either way, you may care to try re-appraising pictures after you have taken them. My own feeling is that few of us are good enough to eschew anything that might help us to become better photographers.