While browsing several galleries in Mendocino and Fort Bragg, California this past weekend, I was reminded of the fact that creating great images involves hard work. I have gone into many small galleries over the years and noticed that many of the photographic images are often not that strong or well executed. In talking with the gallery owners many will tell me that “photographs” just don’t sell that well – that is understandable given the all too often anemic work.
Now you may think I am being judgmental or harsh. Who I am to make such judgments? Well, I am just a guy who has seen a lot and can tell the difference. You can tell when a photographer has made the effort to get out there and catch that exceptional light that makes an image sing: one who gets up early, stays well after sunset, a photographer who knows how to create strong compositions, edit down their images and create tonally rich prints.
I had the pleasure of seeing the work of one such young (30ish) photographer while in Mendocino, Jon Klein. His images far out shone the rest in the galleries in that area. Clearly he has spent the time to learn the craft. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking photography is easy, anyone can do it. While anyone can take pictures, it takes much more to create great images.
Take a look at some of John’s work at Jon Klein Photography. I rarely buy other photographers work, but I did buy one of Jon’s (the blog image) and it was tough to choose. I was also fortunate enough to get to meet Jon while at the gallery. He is a nice guy, making a living off of his work – and I mean work.
Don’t take me wrong, working hard at what you love isn’t all that hard.