Cliché? There have been many images made over the years at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands N.P. in Utah. You are looking to the east as you peer through the arch into the canyon. There have been thousands, probably tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of images made at this location, at or around sunrise. I have been there myself albeit at a different time of the day. As always, I seem to swim upstream…..but I digress. Is it worth it to head to this spot around sunrise, as so many have done before you? I have written before, that today’s professional outdoor photographer needs to find new locations and/or new ways (or times) to photograph well used ones. Just the same, there is more to the story than just that.
This Greg Vaughn image is exceptional and I would have hated for him not have created this artistic picture at Mesa Arch. At some point, you have to do what you have to do. There is such a thing as saying so what, when it comes to what has happened before you. Greg’s a great image maker and I don’t doubt he’s made many photos in Cayonlands and the surrounding area of lesser known spots, with a unique interpretation. This might be the one he has always wanted to make.
Mesa Arch has met a lot of photographers in her days, and she was just as kind to Greg as she has been to the others. In return, he proved how fondly he views Mesa by his powerful rendition of her beauty.
My personal philosophy concerning clichés and photography was as follows. I always made sure to create “some” images that were highly sellable. As far as everything else was concerned, I simply made my pictures. If it was in vogue to photograph the same thing in the same way as everybody else, and I was doing something different, I did it anyway. On the other hand, if I photographed subjects that everyone else was saying was just an old cliché, I did it anyway. My work was always my work. I have had photographer/artist friends roll their eyes or at least turn away when I said I liked photographing lighthouses. The word cliché was written on their faces (before they turned away). I could have cared less. Those pictures sold, they were beautiful, and I photographed them in as many different ways as any photographer ever has. Then there is another hand. At times I have received the same attitude from photographers who simply could not understand why I would waste my time with abstracts, or why I would try a new way of looking at birds. In neither case were they rude, but attitudes are hard to conceal. The only concept I have little use for, is that of directly copying what others do. Photographers have the right to do that, and in the late 1980s I tried it a few times, but it left me empty. We all have something to say and it’s best to find our own voice and language.
This wonderful close-up of a dragonfly by Justin Lo, is yet one more example of the amazing resolution today’s latest camera models possess. You can count the hairs. This is just one more example of how fast the bar of technology is moving. Great image Justin!
Some of you might remember when last year after the Kentucky Derby, I brought up the possibility of derby winner California Chrome finally becoming the first Triple Crown Winner (including the Preakness and Belmont) since Affirmed. Well, the California dude, as I like to call him, struck out. After this years Derby, I truly thought we had the next Triple Crown winner with American Pharaoh, but after 37 years of failure, I decided to keep my mouth shut. Of course, Pharaoh turned in spectacular performances in both the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes to take the prize. This horse is made of something special.
Facebook friend Laurie Rubin, doesn’t get to wander the world’s most spectacular places as often as many of the photographers I am connected to on Facebook do. I think she has to do this thing we call work, although she works in the photo industry. This fact has made her a great zoo photographer, as well as a fine wildlife photographer along the California Coast. Well when you live on the “left coast”, there are celebrities and stars on every corner. Some are animals, and others, are actually animals.
American Pharaoh is stabled at Santa Anita ( I have been there) race course in the Pasadena area. Del Mar Race track (yep I’ve been there too) which resides between Sand Diego and L.A., was about to reopen after some remodeling. Word had squeaked out that the Pharaoh, was going to train at Del Mar for a while. Laurie seems to know a lot of people and that can come in handy when a super star, is going to be out and about in the area. Laurie’s friends pulled a few strings and she got to spend a day with the Triple Crown Winner. Below are just a couple of images of this already legendary horse. Great job as always Laurie.
Some people get goose bumps when they meet movie stars or human athletes, for me it is famous animals. I have been privileged to meet some of the greatest Thoroughbred race horses that have ever lived. Eastern Kentucky is where most champions retire to perform their after career duties for enormous fees. Few people know that you can visit those farms, and they will take you out to met the former champs.
Let’s finish with a great picture. This colorful, beautifully composed, detail rich, and clean image was “hopefully” made by Sandra Arrieta. I qualified my previous statement because identifying photographers on Google Plus is a nightmare as they get shared sometimes by ten consecutive people, and for some reason the original photographer can be lost. Of course as is always the case with wild animals, the animals themselves have much to do with the composition and the art that is found within the four edges of the photo.
Have a spectacular day, Wayne
Ezra 9:13 And after all that is come upon us for evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us deliverance from this. ( God’s Love, is beyond what we deserve, and beyond our understanding).