Thursday, October 27, 2016

Seeing the Ordinary in Your Own Way

The wetland prairies are wide open spaces, but they can be intimately explored.
"Photography is (a means by which we)...learn to see the ordinary." David Bailey

I love that quote. When I first read it recently, it made me reflect on something that has been foremost in my conscious for awhile now. I hope to retire in three years and travel around the U.S. as a full time photographer. Nature photographers enjoy our national parks, evident from so many iconic landscape scenes. We all recognize these scenes (i.e. El Capitan or Delicate Arch) and have viewed hundreds of photographs of each. And we are compelled to go there and "Get the Shot". At last, I will have the freedom to get out there.

The small red mangroves on Biscayne Bay are among my favorite subjects to photograph.
I have to admit, standing on an overlook to photograph Horseshoe Bend or hiking to Delicate Arch while negotiating the crowds are not in my travel plans. I honestly do not have a great desire to capture an iconic scene along side so many others doing the same. The reason being is simple, I am spoiled. 99% of my photography is done in solitude and most of the locations where I photograph are not visited normally by other photographers. I have made images from locations that are as far from iconic as anything can be. Crowds of picture takers are not clambering to get to these places.

The unassuming little blue heron allows me to observe its quiet hunting ritual.
While some may find that to be a limitation, I see it as the opposite. I see it as opportunity to learn your unique creativity. By getting to know a location or subject so well without the distraction of others, I have learned to see the ordinary in my own way. In my opinion, uniqueness is the most important ingredient (above talent and hard work) for creating art. For me, it is the perseverance in going back to the same place and insisting that I have yet to capture it well. This is what nourishes my creativity; I keep trying. It is about creating an image that reflects my personal connection to the subject.

With subtle landscapes, water is essential to my photographs .
So while traveling from one iconic location to the next appeals to me in some ways, it is the unique connection to a new place that I look most forward to. But, in the meantime the Everglades and Biscayne Bay are calling me back, again and again.

Water has so many characteristics and behaviors. How can one not want to photograph it?


  1. I couldn't agree with you more, Connie.

    Your photos are wonderful!


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