I shoot for me.
I recently had a most collaborative discussion with another photographer regarding the creative side of the work that we do. I'll make this point, I don't shoot because I want some judge telling me my image is merit worthy, nor will I materially change an image of mine to make it fit within some judges scoring system. I shoot for me. It's always a challenge, you weigh the "what I NEED" with "what I WANT". What I need is what I can sell, what I want are the images that speak to my soul, the images that I run home to see first. That is what drives me.
To be honest, I get nervous, I become my own worst enemy...why am I here, what the hell am I doing? Shhhh. Be quiet and be in the moment. I fall back on solid portrait, compositional, and harmonious habits developed over time. I continually learn over time, everyday I learn. Maybe that's a new technique in post processing, or perhaps it's collaborating with another creative mind.
It's an emotional connection with my images that drives me, it's sitting in the middle of the corral with the cows, horses and cowboys running and roping around me, or being tied off on a crag as a climber makes an accent, or falling into ice cold water while canyoneering and it's 105 degrees outside, just BE IN THE MOMENT!
Over and over I've heard from people that have emotionally connected with my images. In someway my images have taken them back to a time that they have fond memories of as a child growing up on a ranch. I don't take that lightly, I'm deeply honored that my images can be that vehicle for you. Images were that way for me growing up too. I grew up in less than modest means, my mom would take me to the library and I remember connecting with images in LIFE or Nat Geo. Far from wondering how someone got the shot, but more inquisitive. I would ask myself, I wonder what it smells like? Or, I wonder what it sounds like?
On my growth as a photographer, I've gone through the ah-ha stages where a change in perspective opened my eyes to a different world. Or being able to look at an image and dissect it by guessing the aperture/shutter settings. After all of that you reach a stage where you're on a quest for creativity (that's never-ending), not technical settings, a creative exposure and you realize that the technical part isn't as big of deal anymore.
Shoot for what makes you're heart full. If that's a saddle horn in short light, then shoot it. If it's cowboys roping, shoot it! Certainly don't neglect composition, color harmony, lines, design, but put those elements together in the images that speak to your soul.
Love this blog...I have just started playing with photography on last few years and find it very fulfilling and eager to learn daily. Your comments resinate deeply, as I love photographing for me and how I percieve the moment..tks..love love your work
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