While living in Texas, I went to a photography exhibition, at the Houston Center for Photography, with a girl I’d only known a short time. While we were appreciating the works, I commented that I really liked a photo of the Wisconsin Dells, a landscape photograph. She said she did not care for it, that she liked a conceptual photograph, it was a photo of a silverware drawer with a handwritten note in it. Being primarily a nature photographer, I was slightly offended that she did not think much of landscape photography. Recently I’ve come to understand her reasoning though.
As my last post said, I entered two photographs into a juried exhibition, and only one was accepted. I’m very happy either of them were accepted, and did not really expect both to be. When I ask myself why the one that was chosen got in, which was a conceptual piece, and why the one that wasn’t accepted did not get in, which was a nature photography, I can say that maybe the judge was just trying to be fair and not accept two works from one person, since there were many entries and few available spots comparatively. When I’m being honest with myself I’ll admit that I don’t really think that. Both photos entered were beautiful, I know that, but only one was created with intention, the other was created from opportunity.
I find my photos that I have created with a specific intention to be much more artistically fulfilling than those created of opportunity. My nature photography work makes me happy, the activity of going out into the wild and capturing the world through my eyes, is fulfilling. Although, looking back on the images does not make me feel very creative or artistic. The images, while they may be technically almost perfect, or close to it, display my ability to use a camera and other associated equipment, and to be lucky or patient. They do not show my creative ability other than my composition skills.
I’m not going to stop taking nature photographs. I will start paying more attention to ways I can incorporate more artistic creativity into my nature photography. I also plan on expanding my conceptual photography work.