Do You Take Photos Just For Yourself

January 29, 2023

Skyscape, AntarcticaSkyscape, Antarctica

Skyscape, Antarctica
Fujifilm X-T5, XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR, f8 @ 1/500 second, ISO 125

When I travel, I take a lot of photographs. Normally I don't press the shutter unless I think there is something good about the subject. Of course, as David Oliver will complain, I take hundreds of photos of wildlife not with the expectation they will all be great, but with the hope one of them will be!

The skyscape presented here is a photo I really liked through the viewfinder. The simplicity of the detailless white snow contrasted against the dark grey clouds was graphically strong, and then there was the glimpse of pure blue sky through a gap in the cloud cover. I took perhaps six shots as the shape and size of the blue sky changed from where we were positioned (I was on Aurora Expedition's Greg Mortimer and as we were steaming along, the shapes of things in the landscape were changing quickly).

Yet in my initial run through of picking out photographs to process or share from my voyage, this didn't get the nod. There were other photographs that my subconscious told me other people would like more. Yet when I give presentations on my approach to photography, I tell those silly enough to listen that the only person we can be sure of making happy with our photography is ourselves, so don't worry about everyone else. 

So, this week, I'm sorry, but with your permission and kindness I'm not worrying about you. I like this photograph. It's simple. It can have lots of meanings if you want it to. But at the end of the day, I like it. Enough said!

I'm not expecting lots of hearts and likes when this gets posted on social media. Nor am I expecting lots of emails of congratulations from this newsletter or the website. It's just a competent photo (I suggest) and in a world inundated with great photographs, it won't compete with the true crowd pleasers. But does that matter?

My challenge to you is to post something that you really like and to hell with everyone else! In the nicest possible way, of course. We still want our friends and followers to return next time when we post something that is perhaps more generic in its appeal.


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