The Magical Garden

“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.