This weekend has been rough. I managed to get infected by a cold that has wrecked my head and made it really difficult for me to sleep. So I found myself awake at 2 am on Saturday making my way to the living room so I could sit up and try to breath again. As I flipped through Netfilx I came across an intriguing show title "Tales by Light". I read the description and it was indeed a show about professional photographers. And an Netflix original too! The Netflix shows are almost all top notch. So I decided to watch an episode. It was good. not just about the story behind the photos but some technical detail too.
I always love to hear about the shot but also the stuff you never find in book or online. Some of the photographers talked about how they visualized a shot for a year until they found the right time or place to make their vision a reality. Another talked about how he's been to a location 38 times. And yet another said that sometimes they try to get a shot time and time again and it just doesn't pan out. It could be for various reasons but that's what makes this profession so much fun.
I love shooting. And I shoot 100% for me and if people like what I do they can buy my work. But I don't believe that most of the general public realize how difficult it is to get some of these shots or how many times you have to visit a location to capture what you have envisioned. Sure there are those shots that you take on a whim that end up being great but even those are normally the result of lots of behind the scenes planning. I'll give you an example, I've been to the John Hancock Observatory at least 12 times to try to capture a storm striking the Willis Tower and the Trump tower. I literally have no usable images from any of these trips. Either the storm missed us or the rain was too intense to see anything or the lightning never hit anything. But I'll keep going and I'll keep trying. Eventually I'll get it. Now not all of my images are this trying but most of my photos have been meticulously planned out and have taken many attempts to get something worth showing the world. I don't say any of this to make people feel differently about the images you see online and in person but next time you see something you really like appreciate that the image you are looking at could have taken someone years of planning an preparation to capture.