Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Are First Impressions The Best?

"You only get one chance to make a first impression!"


So says the quote....but what does this have to do with photography?  Well, it is a lead in to something I have noticed.

There are times when I am editing a series of photos and I want to get a quick look at what potential the image holds....what it's potential is when processed from RAW format.  So I might use Lightroom to make some relatively quick adjustments and export the image to Photoshop and spend a quick five minutes getting the image to look interesting and then save it.

If I ultimately decide that this particular photo 'makes the cut' and is worth processing seriously, I will generally go back to the RAW file in Lightroom and go about processing it much more carefully and then export it to Photoshop where I will then work on it, sometimes for a short period and sometimes for many hours.  But then a funny thing generally happens.  If this were one of those images that I had done some quick initial processing on and I then print both the tediously processed version and the quick version, I more often than not find that I like the 'quick' version better.  Of course, the quick version is not completed at that point but serves as a better starting point to get the image to what I imagined in my mind's eye.   It may well take several hours of tweaking to get it just the way I want.  But the point is that the first quick version is often closer to the vision I had for the photo than the more carefully done attempt.

I think I have an explanation, though I am not certain.  I suspect that the first quick version is done in a more 'unpressured' way.  There is no need to be worried about getting it to be final and 'perfect'.  Perhaps this lets the 'right brain' come out and work in an unfettered and free-floating fashion without the left brain issuing 'warnings' and doubt......and, after all, isn't that the best way to make art?

I am wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences or thoughts about this?