“Perhaps the most tragic thing about mankind is that we are all dreaming about some magical garden over the horizon, instead of enjoying the roses that are right outside today.” - Andrew Carnegie
It’s easy to sit at home, work, coffee shop, or during transportation thinking about taking new photos. The obvious first step into making new photos is having a camera at all times possible wherever I am going. Having a camera is just the first step of creating new photographs. Going out and trying to find a grand photograph, a thought that you think you will find a masterpiece is not a good way to go out and create great work. In fact I believe it can create a negative effect, and worse, a long lasting negative effect. Obviously you want to be optimistic, confident, and be open and aware. That is different then having a narrow plan of finding your great Bresson, Eggleston, etc. going out having some preconceived notion that you’ll find the magical garden over the horizon will most likely end up with a feeling of doubt on your capabilities and questioning your decisions.
Over the years I have been shooting more, and then more. A few years back, I actually was about to take a photograph and then questioned if I was going to like the photo and decided not to take a photo. As I took a step away it dawned on me how ridiculous that was. I went up, brought the camera up to my face, and didn’t shoot the photo. I shoot digitally, I’m not on some Joel Sternfeld 3 frames a day because I only have so many rolls of film to get me through my trip. I can shoot that photo 1,000 times and it wouldn’t matter. Where i’m going with this, is that I did all of the work and then did not press the shutter. I have so many times realized I liked a photo more than I thought I originally would if at all. I’ve also learned that photos age well, being a critic before a critique can even happen is all sorts of bad. Life is so special, even the mundane, or especially the mundane. We will look back to these days and miss them. I want to bring the camera up to my face with enjoyment from here on out. I may or may not get a great photo. But I will be able to look back and know I enjoyed the moment.