Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Everything's Been Done

When I was in a bit of a nature photography rut recently, I found myself wondering how many more pictures of waterfalls, flowers, fall foliage, and mountains the world really needed. But as I began to think about it more carefully, I realized that one could ask the same thing of almost any subject. How many more images of abandoned buildings, cityscapes, smiling people from other cultures, and portraits of people we don't know does the world really need?

Interesting questions! But if the answer is none......than what we are left with is to go out and photograph simply because whatever the subject is has not been photographed very much in the past. That might lead to some interesting images, but my guess is that those interesting shots would be lost amidst millions of inane photos with little artistic merit that were taken simply because of the novelty. We have all seen plenty of those already.

My conclusion is that the vast majority of what I am going to photograph in my life has already been photographed before.....and quite frequently. BUT, the issue is not has it been photographed before but has it been portrayed the way I see it? In the end, I realize that one's audience isn't simply interested in your image of a waterfall because they haven't seen a waterfall before but, rather, that IF they are interested in your photograph it is because they want to see the waterfall the way you see it....through your eyes.

I think the answer, for me, always comes back to making photographs of the subjects that I am interested in and have a passion for. If you don't have a real desire to make images of the subject you are photographing it is unlikely that many people will want to see that subject through your eyes.

So, I am going to shoot what I love......but what I love to shoot is open to change from time to time based on interest, but never simply based on novelty!