I was asked recently by a close friend, why do you take landscape pictures? Why get up at dawn for a picture? They where genuinely puzzled as to why I do what I do.
Its was a more a passing comment while chatting but it stuck with me. Why forfeit the hours of sleep. Why invest so much time in the pursuit? Going through the pain of thinking Ive chosen the wrong spot. The endless disappointment of failed attempts.
I've been a commercial photographer for the past 20 years so my friend could see the reasoning as its how I earn a living.
However why do I continure to venture out into the landscape at all times in all weathers for now obvious gain?
Since this comment I have pondered over it, analysed it, and in a way its changed my approach to photography. Perhaps I put too much emphasis on the thought of my images being important to others, it turns out my friend wasn't sitting up at night enjoying my pictures on a regular basis! Now that’s tongue in cheek but the same thoughts applied to my images on social media. I appreciate all the comments people take the time to leave, it’s a boost and inspiration. I've met some great photographers this way and it’s a fantastic way to view and share imagery. But it should be a bonus not an expectation.
Had I lost sight of why I first enjoyed the Landscape?
I have had a more serious approach to landscape photography since around 2011. My first ever sunrise was a belter, a crisp blue morning , a sky full of illuminous colour. Of course my images where terrible, I was much more akin to a headless chicken than a photographer that morning. However the bug had taken hold , I was hooked. I'd found an incredible pleasure In viewing the natural world this way.
So from a chat with a friend and really thinking about my photography, remembering why I first had the buzz, it has given me more creative freedom and removed the restrictions of pressure I was placing on my pictures. Of course I still barate myself for being in the wrong place at the right time or snoozing the alarm and missing the most awesome of sunrises. What really matters is that it doesn't matter!
So I’m hoping this slight change of thought process will help me produce a more personal collection of work. I still consider myself to be in the early stages of “my Landscape journey “ and I need to remember that first true sunrise. Also the small details ,the drive to the location the anticipation of something magical happening ...or not! The peace the quiet, the bird song, the sense of wellbeing, and of course capturing an image that makes me happy.