I’m really struggling at the moment…with this whole Photography thing…Let me explain if I may.

A very close friend of mine…slightly Neanderthal..but we all have our cross to bear…or was he from the Netherlands !!..I always get them mixed up, said to me after viewing some of my early shots and processing..“But it isn’t real” !!. Now believe it or not, that statement has haunted me for the last year as I shoot and process each image, I can feel him looking over my shoulder as I slide the vibrance up juuust a bit more " it isn’t real you know…it’s not what you see when you take the shot". The trouble is he is right…it isn’t real…really, similar but not real…an interpretation…artistic impression !!..etc etc etc.

So…How do I lose this demon in my head…how do you get to that point where you feel comfortable putting your own slant on the world…contributing your little piece of art to the plethora of imagination out there !!!..

Another friend..Perhaps I should stop calling them friends !!. Said to me…The trouble with you Jonathan is all you shoot is the ocean and rocks and sunsets…gets a bit boring !!.Once again..probably an element of truth in there somewhere but my issue is…I love the ocean, our WA coastline and I love the evening light.. So I drove for miles the other night looking for inspiration and got very very annoyed…you see…I just don’t get inspired by architecture, it is my job but not my hobby. I don’t get inspired by portraits or birds or flowers or cars etc etc, don’t get me wrong, everthing is beautiful in it’s own way…BUT…..The ocean is me, the evening light is me…Am I wrong just to photograph what I love…who I am !!!..

I could really use a second opinion on how you deal with these kind of questions…if you have ever been in a similar situation..!!

Anyway…back to the shot…drove for hours and found water ..:o), waited for late afternoon and then all was good…the world was again in sync and my demons were silenced…until I began processing !!! AAAARRRGGHHH !!.

Nikon D90
Sigma 10-20mm @ 10mm
1/90 Exposure
ISO 100

Hitech 0.9 Reverse ND Grad
Heliopan Polariser

Jason Green wrote an exceptional piece on me here Friday Featured Photographer #4: Jonathan Stacey.

My First Photography Tips Tutorial is here !!

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jonathan stacey

Appreciating and capturing light is the cornerstone to my photography. combine this with the beauty of our Western Australian beaches and rocky coastline and you have something that should be both witnessed, captured and shared.

I hope I can inspire you to take the time to see a sunrise or sunset, on a coast or a rocky outcrop somewhere, and then maybe you can understand why for me, Photography has become a passion……

Jonathan Stacey

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  • Sheldon Pettit
    Sheldon Pettitover 4 years ago

    hahahah mate i feel your pain!! Belinda tells me the exact same thing, “but it didnt look like that, i was there!” i think if it looks nice and its pleasing to the eye, well then its a job well done! I also know what you mean about only shooting oceans and sunsets (as i look over my own images :)… ) Its a good thing mate, stick to what ya love i reckon, theres always people out there that want to look at beautiful images of sunset, oceans and combinations of both :)
    Keep up the brilliant work mate!

  • Ha..Thanks for the morals Sheldon. art is art right ??? and lets face it…what is “real” these days. I must admit, I agree…if it feels good, looks good and more importantly gives you pleasure…then why not push the tones a little…even a lot !!…Cheers mate…:)

    – Jonathan Stacey

  • Sheldon Pettit
    Sheldon Pettitover 4 years ago

    by the way thats a cracker of a photo!!!

  • Sheldon Pettit
    Sheldon Pettitover 4 years ago

    exactly right mate, its the only way i can take a decent photo ;)

  • Matthew Jones
    Matthew Jonesover 4 years ago

    just remember when it comes to photography, you only need to please one person. And thats is yourself. I also find alot of people into hdr including myself are seen more as artists than photographers, which is a label some hate. But for me its a compliment. Just keep doin what your doin!

  • Thanks Matt, I totally agree..artist..photographer…Photography IS art !!..Cheers

    – Jonathan Stacey

  • lorilee
    lorileeover 4 years ago


  • Thanks Lorilee..:)

    – Jonathan Stacey

  • rosson1
    rosson1over 4 years ago

    Don’t mind how you came about producing it mate…your eye is good and this is the result…well done:))

  • lucyarohanui
    lucyarohanuiover 4 years ago

    Hey Jonathan Another brilliantly photographed capture love your comp …
    The lighting is beautiful and you bring the vibrance out…………
    Just reading your words………… What the …
    That really sound like envy to me……. by your friends!!!!!!
    Come on my friend you can not let their snipes get in the way of creativity …
    To see a capture … that warms the heart and fills you with pleasure is good thing………
    Would it not be boring if you were photographing something you had no interest IN…?
    I could not do it!!!
    Chuck the guilt to the shit house …before it stops your love of the ocean…………
    Just shoot and process the way you want ………… Your viewers love them ………… Cheers!!!

  • I think that’s extremely good advice Pat…I get soooo much pleasure shooting what I love to be around…why stop !!..and I really don’t know why I was beginning to feel like I was cheating or that my art was not pure because it is !!!….purely from the heart and soul…Thanks P…:))

    – Jonathan Stacey

  • Kymie
    Kymieover 4 years ago

    Ohhhhhh so well said Patricia!!!!! Jonathan, this is stunning, never stop taking photos of what makes you happy, that’s the reason you do it – and the ocean is revitalising, healing, calming and stunning and it’s no wonder you are drawn to it and because of that we get to experience it through your eyes. Some people just need to shut up because their opinions stem from jealousy and nothing more. Do what YOU want to do and it will shine through in your work. Your work is NOT boring, perhaps you should slap them to make sure they are awake LOL


    Architecture and people in general (portraits) I have no interest in photographing – I do love birds, animals and flowers though and I even tried something with a fork but that was because I wanted to. Don’t change for someone else when the very essence of why you take photos is for you, it doesn’t make sense :-)
    Now, I shall leave you in peace

  • Karlientjie
    Karlientjieover 4 years ago

    Hi Jonathan, I think the demon that you hear is the green demon (jealousy) of the so called friend. I have one of those friends too, however I’m like a sponge – listen to the so called advise – take it & do not allow it to effect you – go home – pick up your camera with a Vengeance & go out and take photo’s off all the rocks, water, see, sunlight, earth etc….. you know the passion in your heart – so go 150% for it.
    Get back home – transfer the photo’s to your pc – go stand in front of a mirror & say:
    “Darn I’m good looking & I like you!!!”
    Your reality of that moment you have captured in your photo, is what is important.
    If I have to listen to my friend, I’m a no good photographer, but I chose to read what the people here on Rb write – more qualified than what she is, and I chose to believe my cyber friends here at RB.
    Believe in yourself – your pictures speak for themselves.

  • VoluntaryRanger
    VoluntaryRangerover 4 years ago

    Always do what you want as long as you aren’t hurting anyone….you haven’t got a problem,it’s your friend. I admire people who make their own way without feeling they have to constantly listen to criticism,however well intentioned.
    Great shot,btw

  • Thanks for the positive words…VR and so true about going your own way !!…Thanks.

    – Jonathan Stacey

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