Shoot Whatever the Bleep You Want
The other day a really nice guy and talented photographer posted a beautiful image of a waterfall. It’s beautiful, right? Well a smart-ass took the time to say he shouldn’t have shot it because there are so many others just like it. Then proceeded to “prove” his point by posting results from a Google image search. Now if you spend 0.25 sec glancing, yes maybe they have similarities – they are all b&w images of waterfalls. But there are so many differences. Big waterfalls, small waterfalls. Wide waterfalls, narrow waterfalls. Some with logs, some with vegetation, some with just rocks. Even if you take the same photo of the same place just minutes apart, your image will be slightly different. As it will be different from someone standing next to you.
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce”
– Karl Lagerfeld
I live near one of the most photographed National Parks. Yet I still photograph it. Each time I go I see something new. A different perspective. Different weather. Different Season. Trees grow. Trees fall. Water levels rise and fall.
While I do try and find something unique to shoot, I also don’t shun shooting Half Dome, El Capitan and other places just because they’ve been photographed by millions. Or just because they’ve been shot by better photographers than me. For one, I’ll never get better if I think like that. And more importantly, no one is there shooting that unique moment in time.
Perhaps the naysayer has Vemödalen – a word I just learned today.
Oh no a waterfall snuck into this photo! THE HORROR!! Not even the deer will look at it!
There are a few morals to this story
Every photo and every moment is unique.
Savor that moment. Savor the specialness. Take the time to look around – whether it be a physical place or a photograph.
I don’t swear often, but fuck what other people think when it comes to YOUR vision.
There is a unique perspective in even the most photographed of places.
Each of the photos in this post were shot within a few feet of each other. All with the same camera body, but I think all with different lenses. Some were cheap kit lenses, some with sharper, better lenses. Do I wish I could go back with my newer camera body and upgraded lenses? Maybe. It would be nice if a couple of the photos were sharper. But I also learned much while photographing them, and I loved the moment. I remember each night, afternoon and morning.
That’s why I picked up a camera in the first place.