Necessity IS the Mother of Invention

prairie, sunrise, summer, horizontal, greenery, dawn, farm, rural, trees, yellow tansy, ditch, Alberta, horizontal, Dan Jurak,

Life just like photography is full of challenges. The old saying that whatever doesn’t kill you only serves to make you stronger is so true.

I kind of chuckle to myself when I see trends in landscape photography. I see leaders and I see a gazillion followers.

The leaders do things differently. They see things differently. Take Jasper National Park for example. At the moment it is in vogue to photograph three places and the majority of those photographs all have the same perspective.

Why is that? Why in a park with so many peaks and valleys, waterfalls and rivers do people seem to only photograph these three same places? Time? Monkey see, monkey do? A lack of originality?

As children we have all done the paint by numbers sets, at least those of us who are older. I’m not sure that they still sell them any longer.

Paint the coloured areas with the appropriate paint. Stay within the lines. Voila. Instant painting.

That would seem to be a test of following rules rather than using any kind of creativity and the last time I looked, photography was a creative art.

I get why people do this because at one time I used to look at magazines and try to emulate what I saw but for many of the photographers I see they are past the copying phase or should be and are NOT creating.

One of the things that I love about shooting on the prairies is that aside from a very few times in the span of a month there are few “easy” or “obvious” shots. That is where the fun comes in.

There have been many times when the sun was rising and there is a very small window of time in which the light is great, the clouds perfect and the mood just right that I have been scrambling to find a shot.

Somehow, for some reason unknown to me a picture always seems to pop into view.

For the photo at the top of this post that is exactly what was happening. All around me I didn’t see anything that I thought would make an interesting photo so out of necessity I jumped into the ditch next to my vehicle and VOILA there was my shot!

Going to a popular spot and taking a photo is akin to going to a cattle ranch and pretend that you are hunting game only to end up shooting a domestic animal. Where is the challenge in that? (BTW, although I don’t hunt anymore, I haven’t eaten red meat in almost forty years)

Challenge yourself. You will surprise yourself with your ingenuity. When there seems to be nothing to see around you…

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on May 11, 2018.

4 Responses to “Necessity IS the Mother of Invention”

  1. I do enjoy seeing the variety in your photos. I agree, I have noticed the same point of view in mountain vistas over and over, as if there is only one “right ” one. Hmmmm.

  2. Jane, I’m not sure that I posted this in the blog but when one of my daughters and I were out walking the dog this morning I mentioned to her that it might be a fun challenge over the next few months to photograph all the same popular spots that we keep seeing over and over again but to try and find a unique way or viewpoint with which to present them.

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful post, as always. Find your blog was a breath of fresh air. I always learn something from reading your blogs and admiring your beautiful photos.

    Very inspirational.


  4. Thank you for the kind words Arun.


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