The more I involve myself with photography, the more I find myself concurrently attracted and repelled from the whole world of picture taking.

So I’ll enter art shows and attend photography meetups, make friends of photographers and share my work for critique. At the same time, part of me screams out to pull away, to simply follow my own muse, and pay no attention to the scene at all.

I found myself feeling these dual and contradictory thoughts today upon the rejection of this photograph from the SEEN St. Louis photography show.

Photograph Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel by Richard Keeling on 500px

Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel by Richard Keeling on 500px

Contradictory because this photograph, as printed on metal, was easily my most appreciated photograph ever when it was displayed last month at another art show at Washington University.

Love and rejection, all in the space of a couple of weeks. Ups and downs. And yet, through all this, the photograph remains the same and my personal appreciation of it remains the same.

So why bother with the public display? Why not just pull back and keep all my work hidden and secret? Relish or dismiss my own efforts wholly on my own account.

I really can’t answer these questions satisfactorily. I know I want to be appreciated by others. On the other hand, I find myself little attracted to the types of photography that are most liked. The types of photographs that you’ll see on all the ‘most popular’ displays from online photograph hosting sites.

I guess I will just have to live with this.

And keep on taking photos.