Why Do We Love Our Photographs?

Do you ever wonder why you might love a particular photograph you captured? I do from time to time and this is one of them. Why do I love this image? Is it a great shot or not? I think it is! Others will not.

I have images that are obviously great images. I have images that have made me a lot of money. I have images from a recent landscape shoot that are garbage. And then I have images like this one that make me smile every time I look at it.

Certainly I love the photograph enough to post it here. I like the vertical lines on the right and the curving lines sweeping left. I think the B&W conversion gave the image more impact by darkening the background and lightening the Aspen bark.

Was the experience the reason I love it? While I cannot recall any specific feelings I had when capturing this image, I know when and where I took this image and others during the same outing, but there was nothing memorable about this photo event. I was simply shooting!

Technically it is a good image. If Ansel Adams or Edward Weston had captured it many a collector would have it on the wall. I am not saying this image is comparable to their work or even appreciated as their work has been. Just saying if they had shot it, we would know it was theirs.  Could that be why I love this image: because it is my attempt to create an image on the scale of Adams or Weston?

What photography forces me do is look very hard at everything outdoors and dig deep to find shots. I forget myself in a sort of focused relaxation and this clearly makes me happy. When I am deeply focused and appreciate the fine details, I am seeing things I might not otherwise see. The camera makes me work hard at seeing the world and the result is an appreciation of that world every day!  I cannot even go one day without pulling out the iPhone and creating a ‘happy snap.’

I had similar feelings when I captured this image. It was a mass of chaos: tree trunks and branches and other tree species, mixed and jumbled, and seemingly ugly. I looked hard into the scene and shot a variety of details and I voted this as my winner.

Taking a picture captured right then is a celebration of the moment. I had a story to tell and it is much easier to tell visually than in written words.  When I feel I succeeded at doing that, I am proud of the image. Not everybody will agree and feel the same, but no doubt they have images they are proud of as well and nobody else cares. We might very well be alone in our appreciation of any image we create, but will it matter? Should we care? No!

When it comes to photography we have to please ourselves first and when we are proud of our effort’s we want to share our success and see if anyone agrees. We hope that sharing brings some love, but no matter anybody else’s response, we must first love what we created and move on.  Loving our photography and that feeling of success is why we return to photograph again, and again!

What does photographing do for you? Please leave a comment.

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