The story of a photograph

I want to talk about a photograph.

Seeing the humidity was going to be low, I got up very early. In the pre-dawn hour, I drove to one of my secret locations and climbed the stairs to the top to get the unobstructed view. I pulled out my portable tripod and got the camera setup.

I quickly realized I’d underestimated the distance and changed from the 24mm 1.8 to the 60mm 1.4. To avoid grain, I knew I needed to keep the ISO low, but also realized the low light would require a long exposure. Not to mention that I wanted to shoot at f16 to have an extremely large depth of field — to keep the foreground and distant background in-focus.

Not wanting to shake the camera during such a long exposure, I attached my remote shutter control so I could activate the camera without actually touching it. Within about 15 minutes, everything was perfect and I fired off a few shots.

Got it.

I then proceeded home to upload into Lightroom. I had intentionally slightly underexposed the photos to avoid blowout from the bright areas knowing I could do some shadow recovery. I flipped through and selected the one I felt was best. After correcting my crop, adding a little clarity and vibrance, it was done.

The end.

If you’re a normal human being, you’re asking, “but what was the subject of the photo, what did you do with it, can I see it, etc.?”

And that’s my metaphor for everything that’s wrong with advertising. We spend all our time talking about our technical skills, how many hours it’ll take and how difficult it will be, proving that we know the lingo, etc., that we’ve completely lost sight of meaning and context.

What are we actually presenting to the world? What do we want people to feel? What truth/insight about humanity are we trying to reveal?

No one asks, or seems to care. It’s just “content”.

And that’s where we’ve lost the plot.

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