Making it mine…

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Dec 2013 new fp

It’s funny how some photographs make their way onto the personal favorite list and some don’t. The photograph above is a screenshot of the refresh I just did to my portfolio site, and as you can see, I didn’t choose one of the iconic and more recognizable views of Acadia for the front page, but rather a more intimate – albeit dramatic – view from Sand Beach during a big storm.

Easily accessible, anyone who has ever visited Sand Beach has stood right in this exact spot looking south along the coast toward Otter Cliffs. Although a very popular vista, chances are that few people have witnessed this scene in these conditions, and for that reason, I’m fairly proud of the degree of originality that this image contains. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of photographs from Acadia National Park that are instantly recognizable – Cadillac Mountain, Bass Harbor Light, Schoodic, Otter Cliffs, Boulder Beach – heck, maybe if you’ve visited Acadia you too photographed similar scenes?

One of the most important lessons I ever learned though when making a landscape photograph – and it happened very early on in the process – was to try to be different… to try and make my photographs truly mine, different from what someone else might make. That process might involve the choice of lens and focal length to be used, the choice of a different physical perspective, or maybe just getting lucky one time with the light and weather conditions. Sometimes I’m successful at pulling that all together, and sometimes I’m not… though when I am, it’s usually because I’ve not only made a decent photograph, but because I’ve also had a memorable experience… and that’s when an image usually makes it’s way toward the personal favorite pile.

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12 thoughts on “Making it mine…

  1. That’s a beautiful image, David…and timely words, too. I’ve wondered recently how I can keep making photos of “my” Wasatch Mountains and canyons that won’t tire the reader/viewer and cause them to think the images are all the same. While I’m currently limited in my equipment, I can still apply your offerings to creating images that are uniquely “mine.” Thank you, yet again, for the inspiration….

  2. I remember when you first put this photo out. Was that the day of the hurricane? I know you like black and white and it does look very dramatic and professional. You can always tell when it’s a good photo, because you just love to keep looking at it. It has a lot of depth to it.

  3. journeymans

    Getting that real ownership element can take years to achieve. Keeps it interesting I find.
    I also like to do photo shoots with my partner. We shoot the same views and still shoot them completely differently.

    • David Patterson

      Isn’t it funny how two people can be in the same place and make completely different photographs! I think that’s what makes it fun too.

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