Saturday, January 24, 2009

Death Valley ~ Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point...Ansel Adams and plenty of other very good photographers have set up their tripods on this overlook. I think that most photographers must adhere to some mystical power that forces them to this very spot to photograph. Like they would have their camera taken away if they didn't obey the promptings. Don't believe me, look at this picture I took at sunrise the last time I was in Death Valley. I have been in many beautiful and popular places for sunrise and I had never seen anything like this. The overlook was so swamped with tripods that I got discouraged and this the only picture I took that morning.

That is a daunting prospect. What makes you think you can take a good picture in the same spots, with the same lighting, and the same everything else that so many others have had. All the photographers before you, that will come after you, and of course those that are standing right next to you.

Then I remembered, it is just dang fun to be in such a beautiful place and trying to capture and comprehend the beauty around me. Then I also remembered that if all I think I bring to the table is originality then I am bound to be disappointed. Its sad how often people claim originality only to to be taught otherwise when they pick up the next book.

The world has been around a lot longer than you have and the world has far more to teach you than you have to teach it. Quit worrying about whether others have come before you. You are always going to be following in someones footsteps whether you realize it or not so why not pick some good ones to follow and just maybe you might get further than they did. While you are at it you might as well allow yourself to enjoy what others were able to enjoy before you. This time around I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and talked to some wonderful people who were doing the same thing I was...enjoying what the camera had to show about life, even in a valley named for death.

Here are my simple attempts at allowing myself to see without worrying that I was standing in a photographic shrine.


Whitney Hardie said...

Great advice, Travis. Very well said.

Anonymous said...

Well said Travis. It is a fine line we walk isn't it? Always trying to do something new with something that has been done, or at least tried before. Why do we make ourselves walk on such a narrow rope?

Amber said...

Nice pep talk

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