The Goldilocks Principle

“There are many times
when things seem more authentic
if they’re not perfect.”

John Paul Caponigro

I struggle with this concept of “good enough” – of knowing when to stop; when to keep things simple. I love post-processing as much as image creation and I always want to DO something to my photographs – up the saturation and contrast, add a texture, run an action, create a pencil sketch, correct perspective distortion – on and on down the never-ending Photoshop path.

I am always after that “Wow!” reaction; that “how did you do that?” question. I forget that quiet, imperfect moments have their own brand of power.

Sometimes I hide behind all the razzle-dazzle of post-processing magic, afraid to let my images stand on their own, unadorned. In the wise words of Caponigro,

“Sometimes what you really need
is to get it just right – and nothing more.”

Do you struggle with getting it “just right”?

This post was inspired by the writing of John Paul Caponigro, in his post “Good Enough”


Posted on November 26, 2013, in Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. This seems to be a meme popping up more and more lately…..imperfection. It is a simple concept, yet a profound one. “Quiet imperfect moments have a power of their own.” Yes, I do think that imperfect images reflect the reality around us and sometimes they are easier to connect with emotionally. I am learning (again) to accept my own imperfections, as well as those of people around me. Good post, Brenda!

  2. I like your simple photo. As usual, great graphic composition and use of shadows.

    I, too, enjoy editing my photos, playing around, seeing what results. After editing, I don’t look at a photo for a day or more. Coming back to it another day allows me a fresh perspective. Often, I can see I’ve gone overboard in my editing, or, gone in the wrong direction.

    I don’t aim for perfection for I know perfection is impossible. I am usually looking for something that pleases me, makes me smile.

    I am a good photographer, but not an excellent photographer. I don’t even think of the Wow factor. (Maybe if I did my photos would improve!?) I hope that my photos allow viewers to see what they have not noticed, that they see things in new ways, and that they enjoy my photos. That is all. (Well, I’d also like them to buy one of my framed prints now and then.)

    I suspect you are NOT hiding behind post-processing. I think you may be too hard on yourself. I encourage you to trust your artistic vision and to approach your art as an exploration and an adventure.

  3. First of all, you probably already know that I love your perfectly imperfect photo. To me, there is nothing imperfect about it, actually. You’ve captured a moment in time with your exquisite eye.

    Post-processing, to me, is a creative process that is an extension of your unique vision – not necessarily a way to improve on reality. There’s a place for both.

  4. I don’t struggle with it, but oh I sure do appreciate it when I get it! 🙂
    I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, Brenda!

  5. I really like the simplicity of this photo, & the composition is wonderful, I think it’s always up to you how processed your photos are.

  6. Needless to say, but I so want to say it, I LOVE this image! LOVE it! The gold of the leaf, the silvery shades of the shadows and pavement, and that smudge – a remnant. A marking. To me it is perfect! To me, Brenda, you always get it right, which ever path you take to get there! Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

  7. Simply beautiful! I don’t feel like you hide behind processing. I feel when you process your images your creating a piece of art that your heart sees. It’s what makes your images so special!

  8. Good morning Brenda…

    I don’t think one can create a wonderful image by hiding it behind texture work or tonal changes. I believe an image speaks to us or it doesn’t and the “artwork” takes on a life of its own…almost out of our control. It’s almost as if the photograph itself leads us to discover a new way of seeing.

    I know I appreciate your artistic talent!

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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