Do you feel anxious every time you share a photo online? Do you have trouble accepting compliments because — deep down — you feel like an imposter? If something you created isn't as perfect as you imagined, do you feel frustrated or depressed?
Well, welcome to the club. 😢
Throughout my life and career, I've met a surprising number of people — some very successful and well respected — who felt their work was rubbish. They literally couldn't see what others saw, and lived with a constant, nagging feeling that their work didn't match the brilliance of other creators in their field. Any success they had achieved was attributable only to good luck, not hard work.
It's enough to push some any creator into a deep, dark void that robs them of their energy, motivation, and spirit. A place also known as, the everything bagel.
For years, I have felt like this. I can do a really good job of beating myself up. If someone were to ask me to rank the quality of my best images on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest, I could never go higher than five.
Why is this? And if you're experiencing similar feelings about your work, what can we do to work through it?
Check out my recent video Four Reasons for Feeling Miserable where I share (and put a name on) four common, psychological states that commonly afflict all types of creators.
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Coming soon: New landscape videos from New Mexico
Currently putting the finishing touches on a landscape photography trip to New Mexico where I'll be creating new images and videos from the field. Sand dunes, desert badlands, and anything I can find that's worth shooting on the side of the road. Recommendations? Hit me up!
Favorite things this week
• Researchers have found that cultural and societal differences influence how people see images. Americans pay more attention to subjects in the center and foreground of the frame, while viewers from elsewhere pay more attention to the whole image. What does this mean? I have no idea, but as a photographer it certainly is interesting to think about.
• Topaz Labs (makers of the excellent Video Enhance AI) will soon be releasing Photo AI, a new software app that effectively combines their DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI together in one app. Sounds similar to (the also excellent) DxO Pure RAW, but with image upscaling. Topaz Labs users who own all three of the aforementioned apps get early access to Photo AI.
• How anyone thought this was a good idea is beyond me.
• PetaPixel interview with photographer Christopher Burkard about Iceland's recent (and second) volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula. I was there in August of 2021, and will never forget the stench of hot earth and sulfur. The volcano was mostly smoke at the time, so I wasn't able to capture any photos worth sharing. But the experience of being there was unforgettable — not simply to witness the destructive, yet beautiful power of our planet, but the circus-like atmosphere that had erupted (excuse the pun) nearby, with tourists, helicopters and drones constantly buzzing overhead, and construction crews building what appeared to be rentable cottages for future guests.
• Finally, a few words of wisdom.