Sea Stacks and Personal Growth
This is a beach sunset in Olympic National Park last month. Fortunately, I was there before the heat wave. Aside from the occasional light shower, the weather was almost perfect for camping, hiking, and the general outdoorsy life.
I like this image. It is high in my personal ranking and I've hung it on my wall.
The image required advance planning, scouting, a three mile hike through sucking, rocky sand, and a patient wife. It represents significant technical and artistic growth and the increased commitment born of years doing what we on this site do. It is the sort of image that, had I seen it when I was just starting out, would have blown my hair back. I'd have marveled at it, in awe of the photographer, barely comprehending how such a thing could be done.
The trouble is, none of that matters. I can't feel that way about my own work, seemingly no matter how far I come. I do not for a moment imagine myself to be alone in this. As I sit in here awash in the monitor glow, listening to a neighbor rev his ridiculous tuner car at 9:30 at night, I circle back to everything I don't like about this print on my wall. The sky never really kicked off, I crowded the wave line at the lower right, the glow behind the distant sea stack is good but wasn't my original plan so can I really take credit?... on and on in a similar vein.
None of this makes me at all unique. You certainly all know what just what I'm prattling on about, thus, maybe there was no point in writing any of this. Preaching to the choir. Of course, without that critical eye, I would not have gotten better. But, damnit, sometimes I'd just like to feel satisfaction about the product of years of effort. To step back and tell myself I did well and feel it.
Provided you've made it this far, thank you for indulging my not entirely planned stab at catharsis (it's cheaper than a therapist). I'm sorry I offer no resolution, no hack for wellbeing, no cheery wrap-up for what, at this point, is looking more like an article than a group post. I still dwell on the flaws and probably always will.