I read a lot about great photographers. I had this idea in my head when I started that no matter what, they always create magic. Turned out I was wrong. Landscape and wildlife photographers in particular have to work hard because nature doesn't always cooperate. You can't get the wildlife shot without the wildlife. Street photographers don't always get that special image that sums up urban life and the street. Portrait photographers should nearly always nail the exposure but the subject has a lot to do with the final product. Some people are photogenic, some aren't. It's not always going to be perfect so sometimes you need to either walk away, or think of it as a practice session and not one where art is going to appear. One famed photographer and educator suggested walking away and coming back another day may not be a stupid idea. Another spoke about waiting day after day at the same place to get the conditions perfect, and in some cases weeks where the shot just never came. Even the professionals have tough days on the job.
So when I headed across Samoa's main island the other day to try an island sunset photo, I knew the conditions were 50-50 at best. Some thicker shadowy clouds were rolling east to west. The sea was on its way in and the wind was churning it up like liquid butter. The waves didn't roll in in nice regular intervals. They were small and choppy, coming at weird angles with no two waves the same. The sky was only half committed & the sunset was ok but not "OH MY". The beach not exactly pristine, with very few places to set up without a shot that was cluttered with the flotsam and jetsam the high tide had brought in.
I wasn't going to create a masterpiece but as I get one day a week when I am on island to practice I wasn't going to pack up and try again another day. This is a hobby and I do it for love. The stories and the experiences are just as important as the pictures. I wasn't going to walk away, I was going to get some practice. I was going to get at least one or two I like. And I did. But I'll take the advice I read and come back again till I'm happy. On this occasion it was nice, but one day soon it'll be perfect.
And I'll be there