Photographs are moments in time captured on film or digital medium. The viewer sees only the image itself, generally representing a mere fraction of a second in time. The photographer experienced the whole photographic event: all the time and effort involved, any previous unsuccessful attempts, and the beauty, splendor, excitement and anticipation involved in the activity up until that moment of exposure. The result: an image that can trigger memories for the photographer that can’t be conveyed to the viewer. This immersion in the whole experience is one reason why it may be hard for a photographer to be totally objective about his work. It is also the reason why a photographer’s favorite images are sometimes not necessarily his best ones.
A perfect example is the image of the wood duck accompanying this post. I have better images of wood ducks, but this one remains my favorite. To understand why, you have to know the story behind the image. Continue reading