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One year with Sony Alpha cameras and ZEISS E-mount lenses. Developing my own photographic eye in a in a scratch book manner. Hunting the stream of inspiration and sharing it through a popular blog platform.
This is what 'Days of Zeiss' is all about.




Pitfall of perfection

Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Batis 2/25 – f/16, 0.8sec, ISO100, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Batis 2/25 – f/16, 0.8sec, ISO100, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

If you have followed this project from the start you already know that there was a lack of inspiration in my photography at 2015. Now that my photography is doing ok again and working new stuff every week, it has given me space to think about the reasons behind the year 2015. There were of course many reason and I will coming back to some of them later on, but one of them was the idea of perfection. During the year 2014 I had done some pictures that I considered to be successful on my part, and they had also draw attention of others as well (Sony, Zeiss, Dpreview, Boing Boing, etc.). Being satisfied to these attempts I raised the bar higher, at least on a subconscious level, and were hungry for 'better pictures'. As I had made this far, I should try to develop to become better photographer, right?

Of course there is no scarcity of perfect and astonishing pictures, photography projects and photographers in the net, if one wants to find them. And I saw them too. To more I found great photographers and their projects, the more my own photography felt like it was missing something, and I started to think over and over again what was missing – not only in my photographs, but in my approach as well. While this can be useful in some extent, it can also become a heavy burden that can follow your photography picture by picture as they will always fall a short of perfection (it's the ideal of perfection after all). And in the end it can become an obstacle that prevents you to see your own photography.  

How to escape the pitfall of perfection? I have at least two ways to offer. Firstly, I realized that all these great photography projects and pictures I found from others are really just stuff that come and goes – sometimes even the most highest regarded of them as well. The photographers and pictures that have really affect my own photography have often been more random, and besides that, the photographs that mean the most to me are, in the end, my own. Concentrating on my own photographic eye and seeing it as a baseline for my photography is a healthy thing that has guided me out of perfection. The second thing for me was that I learned to accept the fact that my own photographic eye doesn't necessarily belong to those that I find the most exciting in the world of photography. I may admire others, but I can't follow them as there is already something else planted inside of me – and in the end, it's more interesting to follow what will grow out of my own ways of seeing. It's more useful to hunt your photographic eye than it is to follow and imitate things you see outside of your own photography. It's yours, so concentrate on it and not on the others.