I am haunted by landscape photographers. Now, I don't mean that some entity is moving my equipment, or that I have spirits sit by my bed, telling me of their adventures as I sleep. Although I do believe that there is more to life than flesh and bone, what I am referring to is the ghosts of current, living landscape photographers. Let me explain.
I study a lot. I read, I spend hours going in circles on the internet, I cry, I wish, I get mad. All for the sake of finding what inspires me. To learn. To grow. To somehow find a release point for the passion I have for this craft. In those times, I see some pretty incredible images, and I envy the details, colors and light. The compositions. Oh, the compositions! Beautiful mountain meadows with perfectly placed and formed wildflowers resting beneath powerful mountain peaks. Crystal clear reflections in a mountain lake with the warmth of sunset painting every pixel. These are my ghosts.
The haunting happens when I sit at my computer, reviewing my images from the day. Instead of seeing my own vision, I have those other photos in my mind. Yes, I could probably manage to mimic the processing, but, even when I come close, I am not happy. In fact, I hate what I create.
Someone told me the other day that my photos are unique because she thought photographers only worked under brilliant blue skies with fluffy white clouds. It got me thinking, "Am I doing something wrong?" No, I am not.
I am a contrast - I am a Virgo with Leo tendencies. I am a quiet person unless I have something important to say. I love cloudy, miserable days, and the warmth of the sunshine. I love vast landscapes where there is intimacy. I love drama in my photos, but not in my life. I prefer solitude, but love to share my experiences and art.
The hardest thing to do in any pursuit is to go against the grain - to be the oddball, the rebel, the one who is different. I have a style in my photography - a style that I see from few landscape photographers. But there's a million landscape photographers out there doing it the way I am not, and for me to do it their way is being someone I am not.
A unique style is important, in more things than photography. I have had great success in my life by being different, by sharing a different perspective, by presenting things in a unique way, by asking people to simply consider the possibilities of what they easily dismiss. Why would my photography be any different?
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