The Joy of the Process in Landscape Photography
Finding your voice among an ever growing community of talented artists and writers can be challenging. You most likely have felt scared, defeated, confused and exhausted, all before you get started. I did. I do.
But if I've learned anything certain in life, it's that we grow the most through our struggles - by pushing on beyond our comfort zone and by sharing ourselves honestly with others.
“Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most”
Landscape photographers understand that making the image we want will sometimes require hard work - hiking many miles, getting up in the middle of the night, strapping on a headlamp in the bitter cold, and here in the PNW, trying to avoid things like falling off the mountain and becoming bear food. All this and then we are often disappointed with less than 'perfect' weather. Of course those that do this routinely will be rewarded with plenty of good days too.
But what about the process itself? You see, many of us actually dream more about the summit, the end results, than we do about the discipline and action required to get there. And this is perfectly okay. But for me, and perhaps for you as well, the joy is in the climb itself, the time spent in the field - not just the summit, not just the images we create.
I remember reading an article by Mark Manson that highlighted the importance of choosing the struggles we take on. He says many of us ask ourselves the question of “What do you want out of life?” and come up with vague ideas like, “I want to be happy, do meaningful work and have a good social life.” But what does this even mean? Most everyone wants stuff like this. But are we willing to do the necessary work to get these things?
Mark points out that perhaps better questions to ask ourselves are “What pain do you want to sustain?” or "How do you choose to suffer?” You see, any idea of happiness involves struggle. We want the great job, but are we willing to put in the work; we want amazing social lives, but how often do we call our friends just to ask them how they are doing?
I have had a desire to write for almost as many years as I can remember being alive, and yet here, on the verge of my 31st year on our planet, I'm finally taking action. Some of the hesitancy was useful - learning to explore rather than guide, to listen rather than speak. But this process of exploration and listening isn't something that we finish - it can and should continue for the rest of our lives.
Stepping out into the light and allowing ourselves to be seen is part of the process too.
We see, appreciate and emulate the work of other artists that we admire, and can easily get caught in the perfectionism spiral of constantly trying to catch up to our own self-imposed ideas of 'good enough,' where we never feel 'ready.' However, by sharing our vision and knowledge, we develop more as an artist and person, and can hopefully help and inspire others to do the same.
So with that, thanks for checking out my blog. I hope you'll buckle in and JOIN ME on this journey. If you are interested in purchasing a fine art print, don't hesitate to REACH OUT, or simply leave a comment below.
If you'd like to learn more about my vision, check out my ABOUT page.