And are you looking for the right thing? Writes Len Metcalf, "In 1999, I had one of those magical days in the Blue Mountains. At first, there weren’t too many of them, until I started to pay attention to what weather I loved to photograph in the most. I was living in Mount Victoria at the time and I woke up to a thick, still, heavy mist. It was definitely lingering, so I grabbed my heavy pack of 4x5” camera equipment and raced down the mountain to some locations I wanted to bag.
"In so many ways, I was young and naive. I was chasing key words and locations for my photographs. I wanted to have photographs that said Wentworth Falls or Katoomba in their titles, thinking that would help them sell better. At that time, I was working incredibly slowly with the large format camera, mostly with colour transparency film. I was also unbelievably frugal with my photography. One or two sheets of film exposed in a day. Spending all day looking and working each photograph so hard.
"I raced to my first goal, Wentworth Falls. I wanted to create a photograph of the icon I had picked what looked like no one else’s (something I have learnt not to worry about as much as I did back then). I wandered around the main falls, looking. I soon found a photograph that satisfied me, but I am not sure it really did satisfy me because it hasn’t passed the test of time."
So what did satisfy young Len? Check out the answer and his approach to photography, to find what you're not looking for! You can read all about it in the current issue of Better Photography - subscribe at www.betterphotographyeducation.com.