Dunning-Kruger Effect: Why you're not as good a photographer as you think you are

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Andrew O'Neill, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,819
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam,BC Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  2. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,623
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2016
    Location:
    Nashville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dunning-Kruger also posits that high achievers may undervalue their accomplishments mistakenly assuming what is easy for them is easy for everyone. The title to this thread could just as easily be: "Dunning-Kruger Effect: Why you're a better photographer than you think you are."
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  3. spijker

    spijker Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    441
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Now the dilemma becomes; am I a self-overestimating bad photographer or a self-underestimating good photographer. :D
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    28,093
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:

    Oh, I am the latter.
     
  5. jtk

    jtk Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,694
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Shooter:
    35mm
    "Have you ever noticed that as you learn more about the world of photography, you tend to realize just how little you actually know?"

    Being a good photographer has almost nothing to do with how much "you actually know."
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    5,305
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Every time I think I'm a great photographer, I look at the photographers I follow on Flickr. Tons of great photographers. For me, being humbled keeps me improving my photography a little bit at a time.
     
  7. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,609
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    Digital cameras magnify this effect 10000 fold. Everyone thinks they are a good photographer these days because technology makes the photos for them. We are basically living in a sea of mediocrity and egotism. The brashness of newbies overwhelms the cautious confidence of the experienced.
     
  8. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,623
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2016
    Location:
    Nashville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is simply absurd that digital cameras make images for photographers, any more than film cameras make images for photographers. This is the same tiresome and petty film vs. digital argument that infects and diminishes this forum every day. Enough.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    6,021
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Also, Dunning & Kruger used the terms "competent/incompetent" not the words "good/bad".
    But the real gem is seeing D-K cited on dpreview - priceless! :smile:
     
  10. jim10219

    jim10219 Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    894
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    How good of a photographer I think I am is inversely proportional to the amount of time elapsed since my last viewing of my own portfolio.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    25,463
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    paswonquitte
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hi faberryman
    i see what you are saying but i also see what patrick is saying
    very much how a box camera in the 1880s allowed everyone ( the mediocre as well as the expert )
    to be a photographer, the digital camera has democratized photography even more.
    with a box camera, 35mm &c you exposed dropped your film off, labbed them and got them back, the main cropping device
    was a pair of scissors, unless you opted to make enlargements or duplicates. with the phone, you can crop, straighten
    levels, color boost &c so its not hard to see where patrick is coming from. and its not hard to say that 99% of everything out there
    is not really very good. sure its the same percentage as it was 30 years ago, but in the last year or so more photographs have been uploaded
    to the inter webs than from the dawn of photographic image making until that time so its kind of like finding nutrition in a box of capt'n crunch with crunch berries ( of course ! )
    ==
    no matter what i do or make, im pretty much a novice interesting in learing what to do next
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  12. eddie

    eddie Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,595
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Vir
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes. I think that's part of what keeps me at it. There's always something to discover and learn.
     
  13. jtk

    jtk Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,694
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind Quotes

    “Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.”
    Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

    “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few”
    Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

    “Even though you try to put people under control, it is impossible. You cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in a wider sense. To give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the best policy. To ignore them is not good. That is the worst policy. The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to control them.”
    Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

    “To have some deep feeling about Buddhism is not the point; we just do what we should do, like eating supper and going to bed. This is Buddhism.”
    Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

    “What we call "I" is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale.”
    Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

    “We do not exist for the sake of something else. We exist for the sake of ourselves.”
    Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

    “When something dies is the greatest teaching.”
    Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,623
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2016
    Location:
    Nashville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    99% of photographs taken since the inception of photography are not really very good. Prior to the web, they were safely hidden away from view in shoe boxes and photo albums and landfills. Now the truth is evident on the internet. Which is why I don't spend much time on social media looking for great images. I don't think digital photography has increased the keeper rate, certainly not in my photography. It is just a different tool.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    28,093
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    Kodak's R&D was financed by many crappy snapshots.
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    6,021
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Flowers grow in manure, yep.
     
  18. eddie

    eddie Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,595
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Vir
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Maybe 99% of photos ever taken weren’t good, but for most of them the purpose wasn’t to create a work of art. Rather, it was to preserve memories in time. We all have poorly executed photographs of loved ones which are now cherished heirlooms. The fact that the photos don’t meet the aesthetic levels of some other, more aspirational images, does not make them any less successful.
     
  19. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,609
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    'Dems some strong words! Lol. Where did I put my fisticufflinks....

    I didn't bring up any digital vs. film quality argument. I just simply described what has happened since digital cameras (including phones of course) have become common place. There is no barrier to entry any more. Add in the Dunning-Kruger effect and everyone thinks they are a photographer. This is all pretty simple to observe and rather undeniable.

    The same thing has happened in other mediums as well. Look at music these days. Couple clicks and you are all of a sudden a singer even though you can't sing. Same thing. Music is drowning in s sea of mediocrity as well.
     
  20. Kodachromeguy

    Kodachromeguy Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    337
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Location:
    Vicksburg, Mississippi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree with this. You especially see this effect with the "photographers" (OK, OK, the experts) who comment on the infamous Dpreview. The brash newbies know everything about megapixels, equivalence, bokeh and "cheating on the ISO" and can take 10^5 perfectly-sharp digital pictures on their weekend trip to Paris or New York. I feel sorry for their patient wives or travel partners. But if you asked them how to use a hand-held light meter.....
     
  21. Arklatexian

    Arklatexian Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,364
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Location:
    Shreveport,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Certainly you are! You use a Hasselblad don't you? Whoops, sorry, I don't mean to try to start a Hasselblad Cult here. Belonging to one is enough for me........Regards!.......Hasselblad Cult! Does have a nice sound at that!
     
  22. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    6,021
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hasselblad cult?? Wannabes. Now, the Linhof cult! Aahhh, that's a cult!! :smile: Right up there with the Deardorff cult :wink:
     
  23. NB23

    NB23 Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,319
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have a lot to say on the subject. But I won’t.

    The lack of compositioall skills a lot of photographers are victim to is scary. And what’s even more scary is their audience/followers with even less analysis skills.

    This mix creates a vertigo of mediocrity. Or more aptly called a love fest where the stupid follows the blind, and by itself creates new standards. But mediocre standards, where all the players are intergalactic legends in their own minds.

    It’s all quite pathetic.
     
  24. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    6,021
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "From bastards too ignorant to know there is any such thing as "smart", may the good lord preserve us."
    The D-K effect was commented on by the ancient Greeks, Darwin mentioned, it was observed thousands of years before D&K wrote their paper. Our instant gratification oriented culture of superficiality fosters it, and a widespread dearth of thinking skills (critical and all the others) combined with laziness assures it's survival and growth.
     
  25. jtk

    jtk Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,694
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The typewriter made everyone a novelist, right?
     
  26. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    6,021
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "That's not writing, it's typing" Truman Capote on Jack Keruac
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.