I was looking at my 500px profile page this afternoon shortly after writing my post about infrared photography and for perhaps the first time ever – and that means a long time, three years plus on 500px, much longer as a photographer – I felt like this is me.
Me, as in a photographer with interests and activities that no longer register any competitive edge or impulse. Me, as in a photographer who has found a style that fits. Me, as in a photographer who has grown and will continue to grow but in my own way.
That’s a fairly hard position to hold on a photography website like 500px, driven, as it is, by the relentless pressure of likes and favorites, emails promoting the most successful (as in most licensed or most popular) photographs, and the perpetual sense – not confined to 500px by any means – that you are but one of many bobbing in a sea of photographers.
At least it’s hard to hold if you consider your photography as some kind of popularity contest. Let that go, and 500px simply becomes what it should always have been – a forum to display your work.
Partly, of course, the blame for this falls on me. Looking for the wrong rewards.
Easy to do, alas.
But I’m breaking away. This requires a certain degree of isolation and, more importantly, a willingness to open yourself up to influences that completely transcend current contemporary photographic trends. Influences from differing visual arts, cinematography, painting, sketching and beyond those into literature, science and philosophy. Photography can be very small. Perhaps it’s this smallness that is driving me slightly bananas over much of what I see.
Well, we’ll see. Onward.