I’m sitting in LA airport waiting from my flights down to Oaxaca Mexico and I’m sitting here with mixed feelings about my time here is the South West USA.
Mostly the way I’m feeling is quite natural I think for this stage of a journey, the end of a photographic dream to in my own time explore the south west and a healthy trepidation for my time ahead in Mexico. But there is another feeling that I’m sure most creatives have to pass through at this stage and that’s a feeling of did I achieve what I set out to do? Did I make the shots I planned to? and shit, are they any good? - (Ok that’s actually 3)
As time passes and wipes the slate of the recent past clean I’m sure that it’ll all work out with the expense of money and time being a very worthwhile investment. Personally I know that I’ll never look back at the South West US and say I was in anyway disappointed with the scenery. You can never get a true sense of what it’s like to be at the rim of the Grand Canyon and look down into the endless abyss or to watch the very first rays of light hit the Mountains around Death Valley without being there.
All you can do as a photographer is sum up your emotions for that place and time using your bag of technical tricks and that fore mentioned patience. Its easy to write this and recall with clarity what indeed it was like to stand in a blizzard at Monument Valley. It was extremely cold, windy, bleak and unbelievable. But do the photos I collected portray that or do they just look like a photo of some stuff covered with snow.
Well as I’m concluding at this very moment it doesn’t matter whether or not I got “the shot”. The personal experience of being there at that very special time made it for me photographic result or not.
I guess that this is what we all as photographers might have to live with, that balance of getting the shot over what it was really like to be there loving every second of it. Sometimes we don’t get the shot and sometimes we do but the simple fact that we have the opportunity to be there in the first place is and should be reward enough. The stories of the “one that got away” or “it was this big” will no doubt be just as valuable as the pixels that portray them perhaps even more so.