9 out of 10 photos that I take are boring, and this is immediately apparent when I look at a new batch on my computer screen. Since I'm fully capable of identifying a bad photo, why can't I stop myself from pressing the shutter button when I see it in the viewfinder?
It's wishful thinking, right? Not seeing the forest for the trees? Is it because I'm subconsciously chasing that feeling I get on those rare occasions when I was unsure about a composition and then it came out great?
Having a concept in mind before-hand usually makes for much better images, but when I'm out with my camera and something mildly interesting comes into view, I can't help but think that it's going to be worthwhile. It's all the worse when I'm taking a photo of a friend - what seems like a great photo in the moment usually turns out bland with the person in an awkward pose.
Has anyone managed to overcome this optimism bias and/or tunnel vision? What do you do that allows you to think critically and see the whole scene objectively before wasting film or megabytes?
Addendum: I'm a PhD student studying the cognitive neuroscience of vision, and given the way that the brain constructs the world using the limited faculties of the eye (e.g. only a small fraction of the visual field is resolved with high acuity), this inability to quickly assess a scene objectively comes as no surprise. The moments I'm trying to capture are often fleeting, and my eye likely resolves the one thing of interest and the rest of the world is filled-in by the brain's construction of reality, which is seems to be either a poor representation of what light is actually doing, or just a blissful disregard for all the boring garbage that fills the rest of the scene... Could it be that the greats like W. Eugene Smith somehow learned to quickly see each part of a scene and was able to decide if it was a good shot or not before the moment passed? Is this an ability that's just naturally present in some people, or do most photographers have to do some sort of rigorous eye training to get there? How did you get there?
The worst case scenario: I spent 10 minutes setting-up this long exposure, and I thought it might be really cool. The result though, is clearly boring, even if there are a couple of interesting elements