The True Voyage of Discovery
Lets face it…photography is expensive. Whether you are a full time working professional or you just happened to recently find your artistic side, having a passion for photography can be extremely hard on the wallet. Between picking up professional DSLR camera bodies, having the sharpest glass (lenses) and traveling all over the world, it is no wonder that fewer and fewer photographers have the ability to pursue this passion full time.
I have worked incredibly hard over the past five years to get to where I am now. 2010 has come and has nearly gone and when all is said and done, I will have worked in Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Chile, Argentina, Colorado, Texas, California (3x) and New Hampshire just this year. I might still be able to throw in Vancouver, Canada and another trip to Haiti before the year is up as well. However for most people, traveling as much as I do or owning the type of gear that I have is just not a possibility.
For the first few years after starting Colby Brown Photography, I was always trying to leave the US. For various reasons I was always on the move, searching for new locations, adventures and cultures to document and while an aspect of that mindset is still very prevalent in my life, I have truly learned to appreciate the beauty around me. Part of it is about getting older, part of it is because I have matured as a photographer and part of it is because I am no longer single. I have the most amazing wife and best friend a guy could ask for. While my wife, Sarah, does come with me on my trips from time to time, she has her own responsibilities and her own life she is living. Needless to say, traveling to far away destinations for months on end is just not something that I care to do anymore.
My point is that for whatever reason, many people don’t have the ability to constantly travel to exotic locations, document intriguing cultures or have amazing adventures that would make Huckleberry Finn jealous. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to not be creative. There are many aspects of photography that I feel most people romanticize, whether it is the life style, how much money we make or the amount of travel those of us that are lucky enough to call ourselves professional photographers get to do. No matter how off those fantasies are, the bottom line is that as a photographer, it is our job…our duty…our privilege to capture glimpses of life on this planet no matter where we are located. Too many times I hear the excuse, “Where I live is not photogenic” or “If I only lived _______ I would be a better photographer”. If you find yourself making those statements or having those thoughts, I have some advice for you…..YOU AREN”T LOOKING HARD ENOUGH.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Marcel Proust, “The true voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. To me that means that you don’t have to travel the Tibet, Kenya or Chile in order to discover something amazingly beautiful or unique. While it is nice to be able to explore an exotic location from time to time, I personally feel that most people are so oblivious to the beauty right in front of them, that they never truly notice how fortunate we all are to experience life here on planet Earth. Every single photo on this blog post was taken not only in my home state of Colorado, but within a 10 minute walking radius from my house.
In closing, try not to fixate on the kind of photography gear you have or where you live. There are countless unique and creative possibilities out there just waiting to be captured. Having a child like sense of discovery is what separates the good photographers, from the great ones. I promise that you will be surprised at what you find if you just learn to view your own world with new eyes.