A Facebook friend and fellow photographer responded to my addeddum with…
…, ask a landscape photographer how much “fun” it is freezing their nuts off setting up for a sunrise shot of a frozen lake, …
I very quickly wrote a response. But realising it was getting quite lengthy, I decided to publish it here upon my WordPress blog – enabling the world to see my response rather than the insular-friends within Facebook.
Whilst I appreciate what you are saying, I’d rather ask how they felt after it was completed, how it felt in the moment when the light worked out, the colours worked, the image popped, all BEFORE the client asked for the price.
Would I ask him/her it was the worth the effort? I don’t need to. I know it is.
I’ve seen a seemingly suitable location. I’ve found the owner of a property and inquired. With no gates but plenty of barb-wire fences, I’ve dressed appropriately to carry gear, then meander through scrub land just to find the location I’d only seen from the main-road a mile to the right.
I’ve smiled at forgetting to bring band-aids nor a mobile phone, yet kept going. I’ve trudged through a salt-lake regretting leaving my muddy footprints in a perfectly flat-white surface. I’ve made it to the middle, looked out and seen that mirage upon the horizon with trees a mile away shimmering.
I’ve shoved my tripod into the sludge, squinted through the eye-cup to shoot what I see, pulled the trigger, believed I’ve captured the shot (because it was just damn too bright to know for sure), walked back along my own footprints back to grass verge, walked across three paddocks to the homestead.
After downloading the few-hundred shots, I’ve laughed and yelled at nobody: “Thank gawd I did that for myself!” I deleted 99% that were so high-key that nothing was retrievable. I kept the only one that had a faint outline of a tree. It’s also gone now; I am my own worst critic.
But the day was perfect, the walk across the fields was harmonious and quiet, the other things I found and photographed and available to buy online, the memory is imprinted in my mind, the sunburn took months to fade away, the location gives me a smile each time we drive so close to see where I walked, and I plan to do it all again. Hopefully later this year.
The memory of the moment could never be explained to a paying client.
It remains mine to keep, value and appreciate.