The Photography Experience

Herd of ElkSomething that has been on my mind lately is The Photography Experience. I was discouraged this morning when one of the first things I did after getting a cup of coffee, was to watch a review of the new Photoshop AI generation tool. The good news and the bad news is that it works stunningly well. It appears that in the near future a camera won’t even be necessary to create beautiful imagery.

Photography as a Marketable Product

When I saw the capabilities of this tool I came to realize that photography as a marketable product may be a thing of the past.  If a client can just speak a beautiful image into existence, why would they bother to pay for one? If a family wants a picture of an eagle or a bear or mountains for their wall, why would they bother to go online and purchase one when they can just  speak it into reality without paying a dime?

Why Should I Even Bother

As I prepared for my daily outing in the high country I wondered, “Why should I even bother?” And of course it came to me that I should go because it is what I love. I don’t hike in the mountains and take pictures of the beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife to make money. I do it for the love of the experience. Selling a print or a stock image once in a while is just a bonus.

Maximize the Experience

Herd of Elk

I have thousands of images in my online libraries and as I prepared to go out in the wild this morning it occurred to me that I really don’t even care if I get an award winning image. I just want to have fun. And today having fun meant I didn’t want to carry my eleven pound digital rig and another 15 pounds of gear in my pack. So I grabbed my light pack with my forty year old Minolta X-700 and manual focus 75-210 lens. The camera and the pack and a bottle of water probably weigh in at about five pounds and I was able to concentrate on just enjoying the photography experience.

Herd of Elk on the Summit

Since I wasn’t packing heavy gear I was able to complete my longest hike of the year. I made it to the summit of Big Grouse for the first time of the season. And I was rewarded with the sighting of the elk herd making it’s way to the forest. I enjoyed focusing the camera and peering into the old time LED meter to check my shutter speed and exposure. The old time manual film advance was also fun to operate as I prepared the film for each new frame.

I was enjoying photography the way that I did forty years ago when the thrill of my first real camera captivated my imagination. Don’t get me wrong though, when I’m on a once in lifetime photo adventure, I’ll be using my Canon R7 and L series glass! When it’s critical I will be using the best tools I have available!

Steven W. Krull

Steve Krull has been photographing and writing of the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Rocky Mountain Wilderness for over two decades. His work includes thousands of published images and literary works which can be viewed on this site and others including Adobe, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. See links in the menu to access the full range of products.

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