Loading
Never satisfied
Never satisfied was a phrase frequently on my mother's lips while I was growing up and she went on saying it when I was an adult too. Now, at seventy five I say it myself. And it's true. The latest example is my Tay project. A hundred photos of the river Tay in 2014. I'm about a third of the way through. Very pleased to be doing it. It's getting me out and about and I'm discovering so many things.There are amazingly preserved relics of the Industrial Revolution just north of Perth. Water powered mills that later ran on electricity generated from water. Not far away is the highest volume waterfall in Britain. Only about three feet high mind you. Never knew there were whirlpools on the Tay either. Ones that have killed people. There's so much to find It's making me more disciplined. I'm checking forecasts and tides and sunrise and sunset. Organising my camera equipment. Buying myself a wide angle lens. Well, I've been hankering for one and it's a good excuse ! It's an odd beast with a built in lens hood. Won't take filters as a result. But I love it and am getting up at the crack of dawn. Hanging around for ages waiting for the right light. Pleased with the results. Aware that I would not have made the effort without the project. I've even improved my Photoshop skills ! But, as always, I'm never satisfied. I think we are all the same. While I'm taking photos I'm excited, even elated. Sometimes what I am looking at just seems so beautiful. And I try to compose the scene carefully. Get everything just right. A landscape, a flower, a butterfly, a bee, it doesn't matter. And, if I'm lucky, initially the results look good. But when I see them on the computer things change. The number that still look good drops considerably. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking of. With hindsight I can see what I should have done and I have to go back. But occasionally a few still look good and I get to work to make them look better. Even some that don't look that great can be transformed and that is always a bit of a thrill. Something that was quite dull suddenly comes to life. The ones I like best though just need a few tweaks. That's when I feel I've got things right to begin with. And at that point I'm excited and elated again. Aren't my photos wonderful ! My head swells up. I'm so pleased with myself. Gradually, in a day or two, sanity prevails. Maybe they are not quite as great as I thought. As time goes by the number that I rate diminishes. In a year or so very few remain. But, along the way I've had my moments even if, in the end, I'm never satisfied. And never satisfied is good. It's what keeps me trying. Hoping that one day............one day...............

12 comments

Stephen Drew said:

Gosh! Life's so full of ups and downs, but sounds like you're making a hobby of it Jean! Don't be so hard on yourself - you have some wonderful images that bring me and, I imagine, so many others great pleasure. I do know what you mean though - I do exactly the same, keep changing my mind, returning to places, discarding perfectly decent photos, returning to them later, not wanting to do much (if any) processing. So, ... I guess it's a case of do as I say, not as I do ... enjoy yourself, and keep sharing. And when one day you get that blinder of a shot that makes you millions - remember your friends! Have a great weekend Jean
8 years ago

Jean replied to Stephen Drew:

I think we are all like that. And it's surprising how suddenly a photo that you didn't rate leaps out at you and you see the possibilities.
8 years ago

Jean said:

And I'm enjoying all your macros and being inspired.
8 years ago

Pam J said:

Oh yes !!! This sounds so familiar !!!

But the need.. the joy.... the disappointments too.. are the wonderful bumpy road..

Something I have also found... the photos I struggled with .. the ones I possibly rated least... are often .. in time.. the one I know taught me the most.

Jean... your photographs bring so SO much pleasure. Please go on taking them.. and bringing more joy than you know.
8 years ago

Jean replied to Pam J:

You describe what it is like so well. And I get so much pleasure from your photos and your comments. The glimpses into your world. It's what I like so much about photography websites. The sharing and the learning from each other.
8 years ago

Alison said:

I recognise that so much. I think we all are very similar with our photography. It is pleasure and pain mixed elation and despair all in one. lol
8 years ago

Janet Brien said:

Loved your latest comment on my Zinnia picture, about your flowers and are about to burst into bloom, and which you haven't seen for a couple of years...I look forward to seeing these flowers, I certainly know the thrill of excitement regarding flowers that finally bloom again after years of thumbing their nose at you...I had an orchid which rebloomed once for me after several years, I couldn't believe it!

I came initially to leave my comment on a new picture but since I already had a comment there, I came to see your latest article, and was reminded of your fabulous skill at writing, and enjoyed the topic immensely. I know how you feel, taking pictures which seem amazing upon the capture but later...not so much. I agree with you, it's the best when pictures need just a bit of tweaking, but I find that many of my landscape pictures need some love. However, the reward of getting them to a place of how the scene looked when I looked through the lens...it is wonderful, isn't it? To be able to share a sight which needed some Photoshop help to get right, but when you have it...it's just...SO COOL!

All the while, I kept wishing you had some pictures to accompany your article, but to my delight, I see that you have another article all about the river you've been photographing, so I will go there next. How wonderful. I love the way you write, I feel your excitement and joy. :) Thanks for sharing!
8 years ago

Bob Taylor said:

Well said. Gets to the heart of the matter.
8 years ago

Nylonbleu said:

My mother said that of me too "jamais contente" ;o)
I think that even if it can be a very sad feeling when it wraps around you, seen from a little distance, this is what makes us go on.... looking for something better, more satisfying.
This kept me alive and young at heart, this makes me curious and help me to go on learning...
After all, being never satisfied is a blessing ! ;o)
7 years ago

Jean replied to Nylonbleu:

That's just how I feel. Thanks for your lovely perceptive comment.
7 years ago

Nylonbleu replied to :

I had a great time reading your article Jean, and I will find the time to read carefuly your other writting ! I love the way you discribe things !
7 years ago

M♥rJ Photogr♥phy !!… said:

I think we all have that feeling, but I do find disappointment when it's not so good on the computer & you can't catch that moment again .....I think you are a brilliant photographer & admire your work greatly, so keep it up Jean !!
One thing I have found since taking up photography is that a new world is opened up & see things you never knew they were there & like you with the Whirlpools you have taken to researching ..... That's good !!!!
5 years ago