Birds, Branches, and Zen
Not once in my entire life has anyone who wanted to purchase a bird photo say ” I really love the photo but if that branch was not there I would buy it”. Maybe I should say that no one who ever bought a photo of mine said that about an other photo of mine. Of course we all have our critics but critics are just that, and they don’t pay the bills. I used to know a person who fancied himself as a knowledgable photography person. He told me that just because I could photograph birds I was in no way qualified to photograph product. He also said almost the same thing about the best commercial photographer I have ever known. I recall once he said my photos have “drama” and that was no good. Really! FYI-to the whole world. It takes a whole gang of skill and commitment to become an accomplished bird photographer, Light is light and it doesn’t change just because you are shooting shiny objects. He was under the impression that he could do better himself but never actually tried. It didn’t take long to realize that guy is a complete tool! As much as I can sympathize with having contempt for such people there is no value in trying to prove them wrong and really no need. Those folk already have a large “L” branded on their foreheads for the world to see. Run, don’t walk away from them because their only real accomplishment is to suck the oxygen out of the room.
I think it fair to say that almost all people have no interest in seeing your bird images. It can be easy to get caught up in the genre, but we live on a big blue marble and the simple fact is that 99% of the population just does not care. I show my work now more than ever and I can say that it is important to figure out in the first minute or two if the viewer has any interest. Most people try to be nice but you won’t hold their attention for long, the “Tools” always respond, that is how they draw you in.
I guess what I am trying to say with this long-winded intro is that all the manipulation you do to an image like cleaning up branches and twigs usually boils down to personal satisfaction, so do what makes you happy. If it is a pain to do extensive cleanup, don’t bother, it is doubtful it will make a big difference to anyone but yourself. If you are like me you will spend the extra time. You can also do what I did with the photo above, get rid of all the damn branches, and call it art!
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