This is a chapter from the book A Lesser Photographer.
The longevity of an interesting photograph is inversely proportional to the lack of longevity in the subject.
I’ve spent half of my almost thirty years in photography on landscape photography. Now, as I digitize and archive that collection, I realize most of the subjects I captured appear exactly the same today as the day I took the original photo.
Plus, the number of photographers traveling those same back trails has increased exponentially.
This means, even if I were a modern-day Ansel Adams, my best photos from those years have probably been duplicated by dozens of like-minded photographers.
So, what about photography subjects is still scarce?
Scarcity must be sought in subjects that won’t be the same in 10 years or even 10 seconds—in the fleeting moments.
For those who take naturally to people-based photography, this theory is nothing new, and it’s easy to implement. But for those of us who tell stories with and without people, including landscape, architecture, and abstract photographers, the search must begin for fleeting moments within our favorite subjects.