I heard someone recently, I think it was Brooks Jensen, talk about stories in photography. Photographers are always so quick to tell the stories behind their photos; what settings were used or what difficult conditions we had to battle to create the photograph.
The truth is that no one really cares about that. Other than occasionally other photographers.
His point was simple. Why do we insist on telling THOSE stories instead of the stories that really matter. Stories about the people in the photos. Stories about how that location made an impact on us. Even stories about the history of the subject or location.
The simple answer, in my opinion?
People are lazy. It’s easier to talk about the tech/gear/weather topics because you don’t have to look yourself in the mirror and realize that maybe, just maybe, you don’t even know WHY you took the photo in the first place. You didn’t take the time to think about why the scene stood out to you.
There’s a good chance that you saw the scene, thought it would look great on social media, snapped the photo and moved on.
If that is your approach and what brings you joy, more power to you.
I feel that while I have been just as guilty of this as the next person, it’s just not a satisfying reason any longer.
I want more. I DEMAND more from myself.
If I’m going to capture a moment, a scene, a person, I need to have the courtesy to figure out WHY.
When I share a photo, such as this scene from deep in an mossy pine swamp, I want to be able to tell you all about the feeling walking in these silent places gives me. How wandering these forests is a chance to step outside of time to a place where I can almost imagine that I’m in another world. The world of adventure, magic, and mystery surrounds me. For those moments the stress of the real world melts away.
I want to be able to share how even during the brightest sun-shiney day, walking among the tightly packed pines, with branches from ground to tree-tops, the sun is blotted out completely. Here and there small patches of sunlight reach the mossy floor, a subtle blooming glow that is gathered hungrily by the darkness.
The earthy smell of moss and decaying plant life tinging the silence with an ominous feeling of danger lurking just out of site.
The camera settings just don’t matter.
So why do we insist on telling only THOSE stories?
Why don’t we describe and share the feeling we get rather than the technical nonsense that doesn’t matter?