Teresa Pilcher Photography

Perfection is Overrated

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” ― Leo TolstoyAnna Karenina

And yes.. I do believe Perfection is Overrated.. But only in the  technical aspects of my work. Did you know that most Artists are Perfectionists, and are rarely satisfied with their own work, but they simply never give up, they invest their energy and time into creating new work. Creatively we strive to new heights.

At first my images at Street were very balanced, ordered and minimal. Nothing in the image that wasn’t meant to be there.  “Reality offers us such wealth that we must cut some of it out on the spot, simplify. The question is, do we always cut out what we should? ­” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson  Once again, excellent advise from the Master..  Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Watched by Mythical Men. Paris 2015

This is a good example of my Minimalistic style. This image makes use of negative space and leading lines.  The statue appears to be watching the man creating an invisible line that lead you to our subject. The man who is leaving the frame on the right also creates some tension. There are also subtle lines in the gravel that lead up to the subject.  I liked the position of his hands and his deliberate gait.

But do you know what happened next??  I got bored.. True! This was an important moment of clarity for me.. So balance and minimalist approach may produce what I believe to be the perfect image, but if an image is too perfect or minimal there is nothing there to capture my attention, to draw my eye around the photo and therefore hold my interest. It is much more likely that I will just move on to the next image.

My next big realisation is that you never actually achieve perfection because as soon as your images get better so do your expectations. That elusive Perfect Image.. My goalposts kept moving!!
There are literally hundreds of talented photographers, taking hundreds of images at Street, that are really quite breathtaking.
Jardin des Tuileries Paris 2015

So why are my images worth posting? Well, they resonate with me emotionally and if they resonate with me then they will with others.. And yes they are imperfect! Sometimes the best images I have taken are taken by chance, people walk into the frame, pigeons fly past or subjects in the background add another dimension. Things that are totally out of my control.

Champs Elysees Paris 2015
So when I am out shooting, I think to myself how can I make this photo different to every other photographers image? Experiment…Shoot from the hip, shoot from the leg, shoot into the sun. Break the rules but stop worrying about Perfection!!!
Our minds are so complex and get bored so easily, but that can be a good thing, it keeps us striving for new ideas and better images.
So after mastering the basic elements of composition, then it is time to add complexity and layers. So now I am finding a balance between simple and minimal or more layered and complex.
How much order do you like in your images??

Teresa Pilcher

Teresa Pilcher Photography A Blog on Street Photography

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