Some time back I cam across an article/e-book by a Canadian landscape and nature photographer (Darwin Wiggett) on “Trophy Hunting” vs “Immersion”. Both of these he describes as approaches taken by photographers he meets.
This article for some reason struck a deep chord in me and made me question a lot about both what and how I photograph. So much so, that it’s almost put a hold on my photography while I try and get back to my basics.
Trophy Hunters: "Trophy hunters want grand scenes in great light. They plan the hunt carefully in advance and know when and where to go to get their trophies. “Get in and get the shot” is their mantra. ….. Their trips are scheduled and planned to take in as many hunts in great conditions as possible. It’s all about getting the photo – the experience and enjoyment is secondary" …"The trophy hunter’s portfolio of images from two hours will contain one evocative shot (the trophy) and a whole bunch of filler.
Immersive Approach: " .. where photographers plant themselves in one location and let the images come to them. …. the pace is slower, the photography more contemplative and the experience is just as important, or maybe even more important than the photography" …. “The immersive photographer may not get the ‘trophy’ image but will produce numerous thoughtful images that stand alone and also work really well as a series. These images often tell a deeper and more lasting story or impression than the big impact of trophy shooters”.
I identified myself as a Trophy shooter – which left me thinking about when it became about the trophy and not about enjoying the process more fully.
It’s left me kinda paralysed photographically while I work things out in my head. It’s also made me move a little away from photography in the hope that I unlearn some of the things I do/did.
I find myself going on on shoots and trying to be immersive and enjoying myself. BUT at the end of the shoot when I’m back home – I don’t like any of the pics I’ve taken … because I’m used to the ‘wow’ pic and it’s leaving me frustrated (hopefully just for now).
What kind of photographer are you?
You can download the e-book from Here
The blog entry can be read here