Don’t Fall Down a Tripod Hole

As photographers we we used to to talk about the “tripod holes” at some locations. What we meant is that so many photographers set up to take the same picture at certain iconic spots that the feet of their tripods wore indentations into the ground. We were talking about places like Tunnel View or Valley View in Yosemite, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park or the Maroon Bells here in Colorado. These places are icons for a reason — they’re absolutely beautiful. If you have a chance to visit any one of these spots, do so. If you want to photograph a memory for your wall, do so. But how many photographers go to these spots, take the same photo as everyone else and then like to show it around. Put it on Facebook and you’ll probably get more likes than one of my grass pictures.

We’re a funny species in a funny country. Being a good sheep is highly prized. Most of us who have no interest in being sheep are usually scorned, unless we’re successful. Then we’re highly prized and we develop our own sheep followers.

I for one have no interest in being a sheep and if you’ve gotten this far without thinking I’m an a-hole, then I expect you don’t, either.

As artists, we try to be innovators. We may get praise, blame or nothing but if we’re lucky we won’t let people’s opinions sway us too much in any direction and will only listen to ourselves. We need to be forces of nature.

Listening to ourselves doesn’t necessarily mean our art will be any good. I have plenty of ideas and opinions as I work on images, but I’m wrong as many times as I’m right and all I have are my own opinions. I may post them to Facebook and get your opinions. You may agree or disagree with mine. No matter whether it’s praise or scorn I get, it always comes back to me: Do I like the photograph or not?

For me, a good photograph should end up as a print on a wall; and in my exhibits, I’ve found in general that my opinions have been validated.

Being an artist like this is lonely work, but i find it very satisfying and fulfilling.

Why do you take photographs? What do you want?


~ by danbaumbach on November 25, 2017.

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