From the Photographer’s Diary – Chasing the White Whale
As a photographer, you always have that one shot that you’ve been trying to capture and perfect throughout your journey. This image, no matter how odd or cliché, is something that you have pictured time and again. You know what it’s supposed to look like, what vibe and scene it will depict or the mood it will reflect – but you just don’t have it right now.
You know you want it. You’re dying to capture it. But you’ve got to wait. You’ve got to wait till this white whale – your own Moby Dick – emerges in front of your camera lens. Of course, that means you need to keep looking, keep chasing, until the time you capture your white whale perfectly and then move on to another one.
Let’s not ignore the obvious. It may take weeks or maybe years to capture that one image you’re after, but it’s important not to give up on it. Here’s why:
Dreams Shouldn’t Be Left Unaccomplished
Alright, perhaps it’s okay to give up on the ones that don’t make sense at all – like becoming or capturing a unicorn one day – we all know that’s impossible. But there are others like winning Photographer of the Year award or selling all of your photographs on display in an exhibition, or simply being able to shoot that one shot you want more than anything else. As a photographer, it’s the chase that keeps you going, and it’s healthy!
It Is Important to Work on Self Improvement
See when you’re chasing a particular shot, you don’t stop unless you perfect it. This is a drive that pushes you to keep trying, keep shooting, and keep improving till you get what you want. Suppose you’re after a foggy landscape scene with thick mist filling the frame and braiding its way through silhouettes of distant pine trees. The overall mood is gloomy. The image you capture should make the onlookers feel that gloom for real – if it doesn’t, you still need to work on your image and improve it.
You Always Need an Inspiration
What makes each photographer different is the way they perceive things. Not every photographer can see a good shot in something you consider to be profound and captivating. To be able to look at things differently, one needs inspiration – lots of it. Your white whale can be all the inspiration you need to view things in a way that sets you apart from the lot. It’s what makes you unique and it’s something that is strictly a product of your envisioning. You’ve got to hold on to that.
It’s Something You Do for Yourself
Most photographers tend to stick to capturing images that are more socially acceptable than others. Following the trend might be a good thing if you’re just shooting to make money. However, photography has far greater essence than just that in the life of a photographer. It’s an integral part of their existence. So while you go around capturing portraits, landscapes, skylines, food, and textures – there are always certain photographs that are more close to your heart than others. Why? It’s because they reflect your style and personality more than others!
What’s Your White Whale?
Believe it or not, we all have a white whale we’re chasing. If you think you don’t have one, it’s just because you haven’t explored yourself much as a photographer.
Look deep inside yourself. What inspires you? It could be a person, a feeling, a photograph, you love, a scene you always picture yourself in, or anything else that you think can make a phenomenally powerful image when shot from your camera’s lens.
Never give up on these white whales. Keep chasing them and you’ll always find yourself motivated to be bigger and better than you are as a photographer today!