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Now I imagine not everyone would necessarily agree with that sentiment, but I believe it to be true, depending upon your definition of both beauty and pain. From a purely personal point of view, every time I head out with a camera, there’s a sacrifice somewhere. Either I’ve gotten up stupidly early on a weekend, or I’ve otherwise abandoned my nearest and dearest to disappear on an ephemeral quest, or I’ve stretched my commitment to my employer to fit in half a roll of 35mm before work because the light was way better than that extra hour in front of Lotus Notes first thing.
Now I’m not a “struggling artist”, and I don’t aspire to be, so the fact that something suffers for the sake of what I might term my “art” if I was more pretentious than I like to believe I am, is perhaps irrelevant. However, I take exception when people dismiss my photographs as snapshots, and realise that may make me appear as a snob. I have an aversion to taking photographs of people which I would acknowledge limits my creativity. I’m sure I have a higher opinion of my own photography than the average, but I hope that’s not an indication of being “up myself” or arrogance, rather that it reflects a commitment on my part to create something that springs solely from my experience of the world.
Thus I might take a shot of a maple in autumn foliage that is the equal (or worse) of a thousand on flickr of a similar subject, that gets barely a second glance, and yet to me has just the right angle to be pleasing, while the memory of my slowly thawing fingers endures.
It has been suggested to me that getting up before sunrise just to take a picture of, say, a church, is some kind of freakish behaviour. Someone with a knowledge of my views on religion might point out an even stronger contradiction, to which I have no clear response. But it remains true that all my personal favourites of my own photography have been obtained when as few other people as possible were around. So I don’t see the sacrifice in that way but rather as the physical toll it takes on me for the rest of the day in question.

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