A PROFITABLE WORLDVIEW FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
I read an interesting blog article by Dewitt Jones this morning. And it revealed something hidden in photography ... that explains why photography brings such joy ... when we employ the right worldview.
Dewitt Jones asks the question, "Why do people keep towering stacks of back issues (of National Geographic magazine)?" Dewitt's answer to that, he says, “is because the Geographic celebrates what’s right with the world. I always feel great when I read the Geographic. And this became my mindset toward photography—I went out and celebrated what I was looking at.”
That is a powerful way to approach photography. (And life, frankly.) Are we actively celebrating what's right in this photographic scene ... when not everything here is perfect? Am I seeking out the beauty here with purpose, and recording that which is right with the world ... in the best technical way?
I maintain, that to get good at photography, we all need to adopt the "what is right here" worldview. Are we "celebrating" that which we are looking at? Scenes are not always 100% beautiful ... but if we look for that which is right, we will discover all kinds of wonderful things.
We shouldn't fold up our tripod when we encounter some unpleasantries. Because we can find opportunities, even when our plans don't work out ... if our mindset is to find what's right with the scene. Dewitt uses the example of wanting to photograph a field of yellow dandelions, but upon arriving at the field discovering they had all turned white. Instead of quitting, he moved in close with a macro lens and captured the beautiful white flower tufts with backlighting from the sun. And ended up with a great result.
There are obstacles in nearly any situation. (But we can go past them if we're looking for that which is right in the situation.) How about the lengthy travel involved with getting to photographic venues? Or the expense of it? Or the amount of physical effort it takes to get some shots? Or how about some rude people with a 75 pound boom box blasting obscene music? Or how about 50 other photographers lined up next to you and asking distracting questions ... when the light has just gotten perfect? Who hasn't experienced some of these things? All of those things can come with photography. They come with life too.
But photography at it's best ... seems to be the act of seeking out that which is right with the world, and recording it well. That is a very satisfying process. And it feels especially good ... when someone loves looking at your photography.
Lastly, I think it's a good mindset in life generally, to always be wanting more of what is right in life, and less of that which is not. It can make for a more pleasant life, a life that looks up more and more ... and ends up blessing others in the process.