"Sorlandet in Sunset"
One of our long weekends just past, the family and I wandered down to the waterfront to enjoy the Tall Ships event happening in the Hamilton Harbor. The weather was a perfect summer temp, so the entire Pier and beyond was swarming with people there to enjoy the festival. The tall ships don't dock here every year, so the crowds were thick. As were the number of cameras visible. You knew the local photo communities were about to be flooded with sea faring vessels photographed at dock.
Limited access was the order of the day... many ships roped off for special sailings and tours, others simply docked near food and displays... and throngs of people. It quickly occurred to me that there were only so many places and views and vantage points to be had. And that all weekend hundreds of other photographers would use them all as well. But I didn't let that deter me from getting my own photographs of these carefully restored and historical beauties. And sure, I could have returned with dozens of others in the early morning hours in the dawn, to try to get something different and unpopulated but I was also enjoying some added family time.
I guess I'm posting all this to say that I no longer valiantly try to get "the" shot when I'm out on a ramble... one that no one can compare another to... I think over the last little while I've figured out that I'm always happy documenting what my own eye and camera actually see, or interpret, around me. If I'm experiencing something similar to someone else shooting nearby, so be it. Another photographer I know showed up, saw how limited it all was and decided it wasn't worth it. But why not? Why not enjoy what you see? What speaks to you personally is just that, personal. And if it's personal, you would hope there would also be something unique about it anyway.
So many are obsessed with the "it" shot that no one else can get. But the world isn't exactly getting any bigger. Just the opposite. You are going to ramble and explore and get the same scenes or subjects someone else might have had at some point. Does that mean you pack the Nikon away and pick a new career or hobby? For me that day, it meant noticing the way the sun shot beams through the Norwegian Sorlandet's rigging across from where I happened to pause with my daughter. I took a minute to drink in how pretty it was. It meant if I waited in that exact spot, I could compose for a nearby ship to sail into the frame as well, under a golden sky. Getting the image was a creative and personal experience. And after some slight editing, I can say that this photograph is completely unique to me personally, which is the most rewarding feeling to come away with anyway.
In a world overflowing daily with more and more photographers trying to outdo one another, fabulous images will abound on a more personal level. Don't let anything rob you of that.
Thanks for the prodigal ramble, gang! It's been a while I know.
Have a good one.