I watched an interesting program about Andris Apse today. He is a very well known New Zealand landscape photographer. Generations to come will owe him a debt of gratitude for recording these sacred places before they disappear. (Oh please may they never disappear.)
Andris walks into the wild places of this country, often for weeks at a time, looking for that magic image. It is not uncommon for him to go away for a week and not take a single picture. If he can't find exactly what he wants he won't get his camera out.
He talked about how he would like to make a book of 100 perfect images of New Zealand's wild places. But then he smiled as he said that would probably take him another twenty years, because he is so hard to please. Twenty or thirty images in he'd take a picture that was better than the others, and he'd want to start over.
And I thought about how whenever I take a photo, even a good one, I measure it against every other photo I have ever seen. Isn't it odd that we don't see anything as standing alone? Everything we see we silently judge. We've seen better, we've seen worse. But how can we really judge anything when each thing is unique and each heart and each pair of eyes sees something different in it? Maybe whatever we make, whether it is a building or a paper plane, is simply what it is. No more, no less. Just it's own beautiful self. I think there is something quite lovely in that idea.