After the initial feeling of triumph, it’s been a weird week sitting on the image that I worked so desperately to create. I realized a couple things: first, just because I put a lot of effort into something does not mean it will be everyone’s favorite image. My wife is a tough critic, and although she liked the image, she was not as over the moon about it as I was. This was a tough pill to swallow, especially considering she was the first person to see it edited, on a computer screen. Second, after months of thinking about this image, years of storing up little photo tips and secrets and hours upon hours of time, I realized that people would spend all of five seconds looking at the image before scrolling by.
That last part left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. It is frustrating to spend so long to create something that will inevitably be appreciated for such a fleeting sliver of time. I know that sounds lame, and maybe even a little vain, but it’s true. People comment, “sick shot!” and in my mind, I am thinking, “man you have no idea how much time and effort went into that shot.” Thus, I decided to write down everything that has been swirling around in my head and how it all came together into one still frame of light and dark.
It has made me think back to past creative photos, or video segments and the amount of blood, sweat, tears, and time that went into something I casually consumed as I continued on with my day. I went back through some old shots and video clips while trying to allow myself to appreciate them in a new way. I watched the UnReal dirt blizzard segment again, I went back through the Brandon Semenuk Rad Company rain video edit and thought about the story behind those productions. I now have some cognizance of how many people those segments must have taken to complete.
As a full time teacher and soon-to-be father, I do not have the time or money to create something that difficult, but I feel proud of creating my version of those segments. After all, we all have to work within the confinements of our situations. The thing that often gets forgotten is the amount of human knowledge and effort that goes into turning in ingenious idea into reality.
Although we ultimately create for ourselves, I think it is important, now more than ever, to try and be present and enjoy things as they enter our lives. Our world breeds detachment, and in turn, discontentment. This experience has allowed me to appreciate human effort and creativity a little more, which has also allowed me to overcome the sadness that comes along with something when it concludes. A part of me is bummed that this shot is locked down, but I am excited for whatever ideas lie ahead, just waiting to be unlocked in the future.