The Insidious Photographer’s Ailment.
When you look at a photograph what do you first see?
Do you see a well composed photograph that perfectly captures the beauty of the scene, or do you see the slightly blown highlights in the water in an otherwise good image of a waterfall?
Do you see a dramatic sunset with an amazing sky, or do you notice a horizon that is almost imperceptibly crooked?
Do you see an excellent image of a city skyline at night, or do you see the digital noise, however slight it may be?
Do you notice the brilliant green and wonderfully patterned leaves covered in raindrops, or are your eyes drawn to the several specs of dirt that should have been clone out?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you are afflicted with what I refer to as The Photographers Curse.
I too am cursed.
Sadly I’ve found the better I become at the craft of photography, the more severe the symptoms of this insidious disease, the more even the slightest perceived flaw in an otherwise perfect photograph jumps out at me.
Edited to add - I don’t necessarily find these “flaws” detrimental to the overall photograph, a good photo is a good photo after all. It’s that I can’t not see them if they are there in the first place that is the curse.
Are you afflicted, and are you able to “turn off” the inner photographer and simply enjoy?
While out this past weekend trying to take pictures in the rain I paid a visit to a favorite local stream that has a lot of beautiful cascades and granite ledges. While wandering along a section of stream I particularly enjoy I came across a collection of letters, words actually, but since the theme for the week is letters that’s what I’m going with.
When I looked down and saw “Respect It” written on the stone I thought I struck nature photography gold.
I thought I was about to make the most meaningful nature photo I would ever make.
“Nature, Respect It” popped into my head immediately. It was perfect. Perfect setting. Perfect sentiment.
If I was ever going to make a photo that represents my feelings about nature, and to motivate others to do the same, this was going to be it. If I could have met the literary genius who scrawled these words of wisdom on the rough granite I wouldn’t have been able to thank them enough.
As I said, it was perfect.
But was it perfect, really?
A thought occurred to me.
Regardless of the intentions of the author, is graffiti the proper way to instill a respect of nature?
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Does this image convey the message that we should all respect nature? Or does it showcase someones total disregard for it, all the good intentions undone by one careless act?