The Questions

Photofocus readers know that Photoshop World is a place where photographers gather to learn about their craft, about Photoshop, of course, and most interesting of all; about each other. Last week in Las Vegas during Photoshop World, a conversation about how to make “Epic” photographs started between bands playing in Mandalay Bay’s Eye Candy lounge. I was there along with a couple of tech reps from Sigma and a software engineer. What fascinated me was the two questions the engineer posed: “Why do I struggle so much to create a great photograph? And why do I experience massive gaps in between making the epic ones?”

As questions go, those are certainly photographic biggies. Hey… they are biggies for all of creativity. They are at the crux of every creative endeavor. I believe that every artist wants to turn on “Epic” at will and have the results of their vision be just that and well, much, much more than “just that.” Creators want to make what ever it is they do exceeds their original vision. They want, crave, desire, yes they NEED to make “Epic.”

The Drive to Epic

If Epic were a place, we would all be driving, flying, sailing, running, walking, and crawling there if we knew the way. If we didn’t we would be asking those we meet “Do you know the way to Epic?”

Photographers are filled with the desire to make Epic images. That drive gets us up in the morning and keeps us staring into the monitor after most have said “goodnight.” It’s what we do. We do it because it fills us up. It satisfies. It completes us. It is often nothing less than our reason for being on the planet. Yep. It’s love too.


The expression on his face made it clear that the engineer wasn’t totally happy or even a little bit convinced that practicing making photographs could be part of the satisfaction. I explained that epic results are the fruit of ongoing practice. “The more you shoot,” I told him “the more often you’ll make an epic photograph.”
He said “That’s still a long time and lot of work before an epic image happens.”
“Think of it as foreplay.” I replied.
He smiled.