Green With Envy
I moderate a few groups on Flickr and as a result usually spend a few minutes each day editing, that is, accepting or rejecting a few hundred photos into those groups.
A few days ago I stumbled across a prairie photo that was taken in color and it looked incredible. My acid test for whether a photo is good or not is whether or not I wished that I had taken it.
I did wish that I had taken it. It reminded me of so many color photos of the prairies over the years. A really good color landscape is not just about an interesting subject and great composition, it is also about special atmospheric conditions and this pic had that in spades.
Immediately I wished that I were now shooting color landscapes instead of black and white. The more photos I looked at by this photographer the more envious I became. And with each color photo that I looked at the more they looked the same.
And then I looked at some really good black and white landscapes and remembered why I had put color on the shelf and pursued the 256 shades of gray. Color had gotten old having done it for many years. It became too easy to come home with something that I liked. I was getting bored with doing color. It had gotten old.
Shooting black and white meant starting almost from scratch. It meant seeing differently and also shooting differently. For as much as the two types of landscapes are similar they are different.
Doing something new meant learning by trial and error what worked and what didn’t and for me it was relatively new ground to cover. That I loved.
Learning has always been a pleasant challenge. Learning to grow from your failures is humbling. It reminds me that I have so much to learn.
One type of landscape is not better or more valid than the other. Black and white is not more “pure” or “artistic” then color. That whole argument is full of pretense and self importance.
Grow from being creative and never compare yourself to others. My journey is different than yours and the person that took that incredible color landscape.
Green with envy? Only momentarily and then off on my journey.