I have been posting photos almost the moment I edit them for about five years now. It began when I was using point and shoots and when I got my first chance to use a basic version of photoshop. It continued all the way through mid level cameras and high end ones. I posted images instantly even after listening to other photographers talk about holding onto images for months or even years before posting.
So why did I change recently?
Dissatisfaction is a powerful motivator. I was unhappy with the poor response I was getting on Instagram and Facebook. I was unhappy with the photos in general. I was unhappy with life and with my photography and my job outlook and with COVID and struggling being a stay at home dad. Posting photos didn't seem to do much for my self worth or for business. In fact it felt like it did nothing for me at all.
The last point being a bit of a sticking point for me. Why was I going to so much length to travel, edit, and post images on Instagram in order for the photo reach to be crushed by the algorithm. Sometimes blood would be drawn, nights of sleep lost and angry wives obtained for about 1% of my audience to see the image posted at a measly 1.5*2 inch size. Its frustrating to physically destroy yourself for nothing in return.
Why was I getting so hung up over something so useless to me?
So I stopped posting. I began noticing a slide in followers. This taught me that those were probably bots who look for active accounts to either scrape images from or some other nefarious purpose. I also noticed that I cared less and less about the platforms as well and I felt overall better about it. I stopped caring about likes, what others were posting and how my images compared to theirs. It was nice to just simply hop on every once in a while and see something different and something new rather than the same ten photos that Instagram determined that I needed to see.
Since Instagram is still somewhat useful in life, I didn't give up on it entirely. I switched the way I began interacted with the platform. First I began to share images of me taking images rather than the images them selves. I like being a human I guess, not just a photographer. It also was fun to begin to collect images that I feel like I could share in one body of images rather than having them sporadically show up on my website, with no one in the world noticing.
Additionally with a change in gear and a mental state, I broke away this time from the standard 2x3 or 1x2 format that I clung to for purposes of image selling. I knew I had images that might work better at different crop ratios, but because I didn't want to deal with different sizes of matte paper I didn't want to photograph in any other format. I literally crippled my creativity for the possibility of selling an image. (Come to find out, the more images you add, it doesn't actually increase your sales). So you will notice these images in this photo release will be cropped in order to fit the image better rather than to a particular size.
Stories Behind the Images
Small sand formations are fun to find especially when they are shaped like little wizard hats. I set out one evening to photograph the Sand Dunes near my home due to the change of high winds and good clouds. The adventure began smoothly. I avoided people and main hot spots where people go. I traveled down a fund windy bouncy road and I got to the sand dunes with a good amount of time to explore. After wondering about 20 minutes I found this formation and the composition challenge set in.
After multiple failed attempts and a lot of wandering around trying not to ruin the sand I settled on this composition. What you can't see in this image though is the bitter wind blowing that caused my hands to stiffen into five fingered clubs. Not can you see the sand slowly building up in my eyes. I didn't notice the latter until I took out my contact that night and could suddenly feel the grit that had been built up along my eye lids and were now scratching my cornea.
There are things I do not mess with and that is thunderstorms in canyons. Soon after this image was taken the sound of rumbles echoed through the canyon. I thought to myself, there are only two things that make that sound, thunder and landslides, both of which are bad. So I wrapped up my image taking and bounced up canyon to the famous tunnel in the Subway in Zion. Come to find out there was a new tree in one of the potholes and the clouds billowing up (It was thunder) above us killed the nice canyon glow I was hoping to see. Thunder rumbled again, so the decision to bail rather than wait around and get a shot was made. I have photos of the subway anyways.
My feet always always get wet when I go to Zion. I didn't plan to be shin deep in the Virgin River when I did this photo shoot. The shot just happened to be in the river and where the shot is and if it is safe to go, you go.