That’s right. You were on the safari. You saw the sight. You captured the sight. Do others like your photo? Maybe or maybe not, but are YOU satisfied that you captured the moment and the memory? If you did, that is really all that is needed.
Today’s photo of the day is a favorite of mine. While I have one many photo contests, this one has never been entered. My photographer friends have given me feedback on the image and I appreciate that. Most do not love this image. The out of focus foreground brush is a bit distracting. The lighting is a bit harsh. The subject is too centered. No this is not an award photo, but it is a very special photo for me and my son.
A Great Photo Because it is Special to me
To understand why it is special, you need to hear a little background. Prior to this day, I had never been ‘in the bush’. This was my first safari day. I was excited to see game. I was nervous of driving the 4×4 in the deep sand. I was hoping that we saw game. I was hoping this would be a trip of a lifetime for my son. We entered the park and drove down to the Chobe River. From a distance, we saw a few elephants and some impala. Maybe this was going to be a good trip???? Our friends and South African guide experts, Paul and Patsy were in another vehicle ahead of us. They advised that we should take the ridge road into the park further … so we did.
After driving a few kilometers, we reached the peak of a hill and some heavy brush very close to the road. As I rounded the corner … there was a huge lone Cape Buffalo coming out of the bush and towards my truck. I was new to the bush, but have seen enough National Geographic specials to know I was confronting one of the Big Five. Yes, one of the most dangerous animals to hunt in Africa. I also knew that lone males were more dangerous … and I knew that this animal can be mean. Very mean just for the sake of being mean. I was nervous. I was tense. I took this photo.
Even today, as a more experienced safari traveler, spotting this single bull may give me a thrill, but I am sure it would not be ‘that special moment’ that it was the first time I confronted a Cape Buffalo.
Is this a great shot? Heck yes it is to me … and that is all that matters on this one.
Conclusion: If your photograph speaks to you, if it brings back a special memory, then it is a great photo … and don’t let anyone sway you from that belief.