Dan Jurak, landscape, fine art, fineart, long exposure, black and white, landscape, prairie, Alberta, silos, Canada, dark, cloudy,

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
– Edgar Allan Poe, Alone

Photography for me is definitely NOT a group experience.

One of the great joys in my life is getting out by myself. Going where I want to go. Stopping where I want to stop and for how long I want to stop.

There are times while taking photos that it is almost a Zen like or spiritual experience. It’s being in the “zone” for lack of a better word.

I have never understood the idea of a few people getting together, cameras in hand and taking photos. I once drove by a photo tour/workshop by Hebert Lake in Banff National Park and it seemed to be the most uncreative atmosphere imaginable. The leader of the group, a short, bearded fellow was herding and directing his clients to better shooting spots and giving advice. Seeing that was my signal to move on and get far away from the group to find the solitude I experience when shooting landscapes.

Is this being anti-social? Probably but if I want to go out in the country with a group of people I would much rather be fishing or something like that where it is a shared experience. Photography for me is not.

Like the poem from Poe,

“As others saw—I could not bring

My passions from a common spring—”

creativity has always been an individual act. As the old saying goes, “too many cooks spoil the soup”.

Happy shooting,





~ by Dan Jurak on October 23, 2014.

9 Responses to “Alone”

  1. I agree with you, I need to be alone to make beautiful pictures. In a group I can’t focus. But some people need to participate at workshop to learn more techniques that, I hope, they bring home.

    Again, great picture, Dan! It as a feeling of solitude and deep serenity.

  2. @ Anne, I am totally with you when it comes to focusing with others around me.

    I know that there is a place for workshops in photography. Some people need the comfort of a group to learn but I contrast that with the direction I am now taking. I know that there are workshops online and in the real world that teach what I am trying to do but part of the fun for me is discovering that for myself.

    It’s like finding a secret place. It’s not a secret and not so special if someone else shows it to you first.

    Thanks for the visit and comment,

  3. Your comments and thoughts have always been refreshing – now your photos are like a fresh spring breeze

  4. @ Ray, spring breeze? That usually means green and colorful. LOL

  5. yeah wrong season I guess – lol

  6. I agree. I fairly regularly go out with just one friend with the intention of taking photographs but we inevitably just chat, get distracted, go to the pub etc. I find it much more productive to go out on my own and see what I can find. You can take your time without worrying about whether your companions are wishing you would hurry up. If you only have yourself to please then I find the photos I take are much more pleasing.

  7. @ Richard. What you describe has happened to me before. The conversation always distracts from the purpose of taking photos. Maybe we are too easily distracted? LOL

    Thank you for visiting and commenting,

  8. Nice to see I’m not alone here, Dan. For the longest time, I’ve been made to feel like rubbish for shooting alone most of the time, as if there was something wrong with what I was doing. But when I compared results taken with others and when alone, the latter usually produced the better results. So now I save shooting with others when I feel the need to socialize with other photographers for a more lighthearted photo outing. Whatever works for the individual, eh?

    Glad to have you back … I’m interested in seeing where your new path will lead you with your camera in hand …

  9. @ Sid, you’re not alone at all. The photographers that use photography as a social vehicle have it reflected in their art. Nothing wrong with that but I think that creativity goes out the window when you’re chatting instead of visualizing. To each their own. Nothing wrong in doing that but then I think that we probably have different goals than the group shooters.

    Thank you for your visits and comments,

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