“Does the world need another sunset photograph” ?

One of the most searching photographic questions I ever heard, was arguably the simplest , as Parr asked the question above , he was working on his “Signs Of The Times” project..

This simple question shook me to the core as I realised that this question is not anti - sunset it is much further reaching than that, as it challenges photographers to search out a personal vision that hopefully values a level of uniqueness over a predictable pictorial ism that is “very nice” but as dull as ditch water with few exceptions.

The problem with this question is that it throws down the gauntlet to photographers to stop treading water in the same way as many photographers always have, and engage with the here and now in a deeper, thoughtful and more challenging way. Take responsibility and ownership of the images you make as extensions of you / your life rather than being reflective records of the places you once visited and prove little more than you once passed through this place. .


Perhaps we should be ignoring the warm cosy sunsets of tomorrow in favour of captures that represent the cold light of day and moments that might have more significance ?

The realisation that the subjects and views that you leave out of your compositions are arguably more important than the compositions that you invest in, is quite refreshing, as this is the first and most important content edit of your photographic life and your times.

This Bresson quote might help me make my point as it seems especially relevant now , “The world is falling apart and Adams and Evans are out there photographing rocks” !

Enjoy your weekend, share a sunset with someone special , please don’t share it with me !

Keep it real .

Special thanks to David O’Flynn for inspiring this ramble !