Low-Hanging Fruit

My photography trips to the Adirondacks this month focused both on new areas I first explored this summer and tried and true locations that have been visited and photographed by myself and countless others over the years. The new areas are those of which I have never previously seen a photo, or at least a good photo. I’ve had time to reflect on the photos I made on those trips and have found a greater sense of satisfaction and pride in the work I created from the new locations compared to that from the iconic, well-known spots. And I know why.

I feel as if my creativity is enhanced when visiting a new location, as there is no preconceived idea of how and what to photograph. There’s no bias. My mind and eyes are open to any and all possibilities. And I certainly like the feeling of creating something entirely new (at least as far as I know), as opposed to a photo from someplace popular that is largely derivative. Yes, the lighting is always different, but the composition is often very similar to what has been done before. Mind you, the photos I did make from the two iconic and oft-photographed spots I visited this month are arguably the most stunning and beautiful of the group and probably the most marketable. But I feel a lack of accomplishment, a lack of creativity on my part.

The reason these locations are so popular is because they offer spectacular views. By visiting these spots I feel like I sold out and took the easy route, the route that most guaranteed a good or great image. I went for the low-hanging fruit. Such images may look good on social media or in my portfolio, but in the end they leave me feeling a bit empty. What they have in aesthetic beauty they lack in creativity and originality, and to that end ultimately represent an artistic failure on my part. A failure to take chances, to explore, to be different, and most importantly, to express my own voice and vision.

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Case in point: There was another photographer sharing the summit with me on this morning. I saw a very similar photo to this one posted by him a few days later.

4 thoughts on “Low-Hanging Fruit”

  1. I love the metaphor you use here of the low-hanging fruit. Clever indeed. I admire that you like to stretch yourself to places where you’re able to “feel” a sense of accomplishment in your creativity. But- sometimes I think you’re a little too hard on yourself. However, as a fellow maker/artist I do understand where you’re coming from…but, consider this: you’re providing a thing of beauty and peace and joy for people to rest their weary eyes upon…and that is a gift and a service to mankind.

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  2. I get it Chris. However, inspiration and the capture of beauty shouldn’t need to be run through any filter. If it moves you or anyone else, job done. Who cares if the venue has been shot before? We aren’t the first or the last. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, I hear what you’re saying, but it’s simply my preference to not stand in the same spot that dozens if not hundreds of photographers have stood before. It’s not a good feeling to see a composition that’s almost the exact same as mine.

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