Let’s be honest

Lilly, WoodlakeWoodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

I stopped at the little parking lot at the entrance to our condominiums to listen to the end of a story on NPR; it’s something I do every now and then. I’m fortunate in that my commute back and forth to work is all back country roads and I don’t really have to deal with traffic. I can mosey along enjoying the countryside, and there is usually room to pull off the road if I want to stop and photograph, or just watch the wild turkeys that have made such a successful comeback in our area. The result, is that by the time I get home I have had a chance to put work behind me and I can put my mind in a more relaxed place.

I had finished listening to the story, but wasn’t ready to make the drive up the last mile home. By then it was nearing seven o’clock and that special time of day when the light was no longer coming directly from the sun, but was reflected from the underside of the clouds, forming a huge diffuse reflector. There was no wind to speak of and very few cars to disturb the quiet, so I decided to spend a few minutes walking along the shore, trying to sneak up on the frogs and turtles to, but no avail. In the end I was only able to sneak up on this water lilly.

I’m just not cut out to be a nature photographer. I just don’t have the patience; or probably more honestly, it means I don’t have the driving interest that marks the real deal. I enjoy the outdoors, at least until I get cold, or worse, too hot. I don’t mind walking a ways to make a photograph, unless it’s too far or up too steep a hill. I don’t mind carrying my gear cross country, unless the country is too rough. Are you beginning to see a pattern? I don’t have the right stuff to do that kind of photography, and that’s why I have such a hard time answering people when they ask what kind of photography I do. I shoot what I like, what’s easy.

Maybe this rings a bell for you. Does it sound familiar? I am seriously interested in photography. I take my camera with me almost everywhere I go, I read lots of blogs and articles on the subject, and will talk about photography late into the night. What I lack is the drive, the focus to be anything but a dilettante. I’m an amateur who occasionally sells a print or makes a little pocket money photographing artwork for friends. There is nothing wrong with that, but it puts me in a whole different category from those people who bust hump doing a “Job” with a capital J, and it explains why their output is so much better and more prolific. I only do this because I love doing it. Photography is my only creative outlet and I do it for no profit, in fact I lose money doing it. It’s just important for me to remember the difference between me and the real deal.

Panasonic Lumix G3 with 20mm f1..7 lens. Processed in Photoshop and Nik Software.


7 comments on “Let’s be honest

  1. Theresa Navarre says:

    I love this photo, the light, color, shapes and natural patterning. It makes me want to paint!


  2. Are you kidding me! I’ve wanted to make a photo like this for years. I bow to your skill and modesty.


  3. Marc Isolda says:

    Beautiful, simply beautiful!!!! Great composition, I to bow to your skill.


  4. You guys slay me.


  5. nikkorbacher says:

    I like the OED’s first definition of amateur: from amātōr-em, an agent of amā-re, to love. Contrast that with professional, with its goal of money.


  6. Same here. Which is why have no trouble calling myself an amateur.


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