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Difference vs Truth

More often than not, I stumble upon quotes derived from workshops or even acclaimed photographers as they talk about "being different" in what we shoot, that is to be able to capture something that no one else has, to take photos that no one did etc. We are totally beaten by a trend of "don'ts" and "nevers" and we are hard pressed to think (or even invent) of different kinds of photos.

The strange thing is that almost no one talks about the importance of "truth" in a photo. For me, what matters most is the ability to capture our inner self in a photo, to be able to forget about the agony of "difference" and be free to make true visual expressions of ourselves, an unadulterated reflection of our soul and our thoughts on things we see. The element of emotion always hides under a photo that is a pure reflection of ourselves but emotions rarely exist when what you're after is just a niche of difference for the sake of difference. So, before we ask someone to be different in photography, we should also remind him to be original in the first place. No matter if you are the 2000th photographer that captures the mighty Skógafoss waterfall, the alienesque Zeeland bridge or the lonely Wanaka tree, what matters most is to be true and honest to yourself and decide upon the things that recall the sense of "I was there", "I felt the place", to unveil what would make you grab the camera and capture your soul in that photo. If it's not there, then you are just that 2000th photographer...

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