Eye Candy

December 13, 2013 · 26 comments

7-261-9  stock photo of Clouds, Sunset on fog

Wander through the landscape images posted on many Facebook, Instagram and Flickr pages and you’ll see millions of sunsets, clouds, tropical beaches and gorgeous landscapes, all accompanied by gushing comments, “Wow,” “fantastic” “amazing!!” “dope”. Professional travel photographers know that sunsets aren’t always that gorgeous, that the light is not often brilliant and magical, and that not all mountain vistas are “knock your socks off” scenes. With all the eye candy presented online it is easy to get jaded, to see such images as commodities, commercialized, trite and clichéd.

You’ll get a hint of that in the tags people add, especially on Instagram : cloudporn, sunsetporn, as if to confirm that that all the images are faked, dolled up by in Photoshop in an effort to show something that isn’t there.

But that is not the whole story. The essence of photography is the art of seeing, of standing before a subject and discerning its nature, finding what is interesting and unique and then trying to accurately record it for others. This is especially key in travel photography. Two photographers walk into an Asian market; one see orchids, the other sees flies. Which is the truth? For me the greatest potential for photography is the capacity to find what is wonderful in the world, to see beyond the ordinary and mundane elements of life, to the hope and potential and wonder of it all.

So a photo of a sunset is marvelous not because it is a pretty picture, but because when you actually go out there, when you stand on the hill above the clouds, as the golden light reflects all around you, it touches you. The true value of the image is not so much that it looks wondrous, but that it can inspire the viewer to go out themselves and see the sunset, to seek and find their own moments of awe and inspiration, to see the orchids…

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jane Martin July 15, 2014 at 3:08 am

extremely well done. It is satisfaction to come across your perform
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2 David Sanger December 14, 2013 at 11:08 am

Thanks everyone for all the comments. We do sometimes get jaded, but it helps to remember the difference between looking at a photo we like and actually going outside and finding a scene in real life. For me that’s what’s the most exciting of all.

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3 Michael Eisbrener December 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I am about as far from a photographer as anyone on the planet. If I see something I like I just push the button as fast as the camera allows. Every once in awhile I catch something and most of them get deleted… too often the one between was the one I wanted.

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4 Charles Garcia December 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Great picture David and nice post!

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5 amidiabetic December 13, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I don’t see a problem with using Photoshop. I have taken shots where a telegraph pole or wires are in the sky spoilng the shot. it’s not too different from setting up a shot before you take the photograph, it is manipulation either way, just as long as it is not overcooked with Photoshop.

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6 Michael Young December 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Excellent post. I really loved this – “The true value of the image is not so much that it looks wondrous, but that it can inspire the viewer to go out themselves and see the sunset, to seek and find their own moments of awe and inspiration” – surely the aim of every travel photographer. Well done 🙂

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7 Christophe December 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Stunning sunset!

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8 Janette Toral December 13, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I love taking sunset shots especially when I am out of town. A perfect way to wrap it up.

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9 Kita Champion December 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Beauty doesn’t mean perfection. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. — Kita

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10 pfgregg December 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Awesome – shared it!

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11 Alan Darnell December 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

great scene

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12 TaylorMiles December 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I often find it difficult to capture the true feeling of being there. Actually not even close. Thats why I choose to use HDR to help make it look more like the real experience.

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13 mluv properties December 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Very Nice

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14 Abir Roy December 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Fantastic

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15 Thomas B December 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm

memories of a morning in the summer. Nice to see since its 20 degrees in PA

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16 Kee Zim December 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Amazing picture!!

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17 Mithu Hassan December 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Wonderful

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18 Shawn M. December 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Well said, “The essence of photography is the art of seeing, of standing before a
subject and discerning its nature, finding what is interesting and
unique and then trying to accurately record it for others.”

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19 Claudiu Gabriel December 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

excellent !

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20 Sandor Benko December 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Thanks for sharing, great photo!

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21 Madattheworld December 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I agree, we can become jaded with the plethora of pictures but every now and then a few inspire us to truly see and wonder at the beauty of it all.

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22 Mike Bazaluk December 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I’m no expert but believe that the best photo’s are one that strikes memories or feelings, as you say you have to be there

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23 Candace Mountain December 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Agree 100%

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24 Harold Gardner December 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I saw somebody take/post some macro photos of fly eyes that were amazing, dope, and extra cool!

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25 Michael Reischer December 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Great Photo

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26 Braden Walker December 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm

nice

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