Ambition Drives the Shifting of Goalposts

Ambition is a good thing, it drives us.

Ambition is a good thing, it drives us.

Ambition in Photography is the one force, the main force, that drives our determination. Photography is a funny old game though insofar that it is so massively diverse in its potential that as one travels through its many genres it has a habit of reaching out, snagging our interest, averting our gaze from that which attracted us to it in the first place. Ambition never gets lost, in my humble opinion, whether within photography or not, we all have ambition, to succeed, accomplish and go beyond our goals. I’ve had a few emails from friends asking why I’m selling my gear, “Am I giving up on imaging”? “Found something else to occupy my mind”? “Changing my profession”? “Bad Eyesight”? all questions I’ve had pitched at me from different corners of my social and personal audience.

I started out, in my personal imaging, shooting macro photography subjects as a way to break the humdrum of what was my standard imaging day. I don’t want to sound glib or blase but working as I did in a region where I was diving pretty much every day with sharks, manta rays and other lager marine fair I found myself more and more interested in the tiny stuff. Antics of 1inch long fish held a bizarre fascination, the intricate coloration of underwater slugs that traverse the reefs and sandy lagoon floors at the proverbial snails pace, drew, and continue to draw, my gaze, my fascination. That juxtapose shift from the energetic and predatory awesomeness of sharks was, and remains, a very real interest for me.

This reflection therefore gains more credibility that tastes and imaging goals change dependent on one’s life journey. Having left the marine side of imaging, in the sense of focusing specific on the wildlife, a number of years back it comes as no surprise that with my now terrestrial existence that my imaging is also going through a change. I find an equally rewarding sense of accomplishment with topside imaging now than I ever thought I would compared to underwater. For the most part I see this as an attribute derived from the adventure connected with getting the shot.

With that said I’m happy in my decision to err more and more towards concentrating on time-lapse imaging above other genres. For me one image can tell a story and carry emotion, to an extent, whereas a time-lapse can convey not just a story but an very real emotion. I put this down I guess to my link with moving images at the start of my imaging path. Whenever I would have discussions, and I had many, with underwater still photographers the theme would invariably get around to the “Why do you prefer one form of imaging over another”? My answer to that is for me, and photography is a very personal voyage, but for me something that lives in the fluidity of the liquid medium is designed to be seen flowing, in motion, alive. I’m not sure that that can be conveyed fully with a still image, and thus the reason for my adopting video for my chosen imaging delivery format.

I believe the same can be said for time-lapse imaging. It allows the shooter to present a scene in the manner it is best understood. A fantastic image of the Milky Way for example doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s a fantastic image of the Milky Way. But allow the viewer to see that spectacle arching across the night sky and the impact, in my view, is greatly enhanced. Some remain fixed in the power of a still image, and whilst; Yes, they are stunning in many regards, I feel a personal attraction towards being able to see that spectacle playing out with motion. To which end I simply wish to clarify to my buddies and contacts, that I am not going anywhere, no departure from imaging but just a slight moving of the goalposts.

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