As I was driving through southern Utah this last weekend, I looked out into a field and wondered if anyone had tromped through the bushes carrying finely manufactured glass attached to a light sensor. That is, after all, half of photography: carrying around gear. I was thinking of all of the different possibilities for photos. Sometimes it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that every good photo to be taken has been. If you think about how many square feet the space in the atmosphere contains, and think of every one of those squares as a vantage point with 360 degrees of pivot, in addition to endless combinations of weather and daylight, as well as billions of people to pass in and out of those spaces at different times doing different things-you realize pretty quickly that there are plenty of photos to go around.
Like I said, much of photography is simply being dedicated to the capturing of images. Although cell phones have cameras, if you want to capture anything worthwhile you are going to need something with a lens more complex than saran wrap. Going through the trouble of bringing a camera is like a sacrifice to the photography gods in order to get a good image.
There seems to be a direct correlation between how spectacular your images are and how much the environment you are shooting wants to break/steal your camera. This is why National Geographic photographers are so amazing. You may look at a picture of some penguins and think “I could have taken that picture, they are just standing there.” Well, you didn’t. You didn’t fly in a bush plane, haul tons of camping gear, and hike across desolate frozen landscape all with the intent of snapping some pics. I think that is the best part about photography, anyone can do it. I think a good photo is one that makes you think “I could’ve taken that!” Beautiful, yet simple.