Eric Seymour’s Photography Journal.

On Bothering

Tahoe Lakebed. Eric Seymour, 2019. Just after New Years Day, I was walking with my Wife on a long pier in North Lake Tahoe. The scenery was amazing, and the sky was clear and sunny — perfect for a mid-day walk, but not ideal for a photograph. So I began searching for other compositions. Eventually, I looked down at the water and noticed what I’ve seen dozens of times over the years: crystal clear, calm, frigid water; and naturally rhythmic patterns etched into the shallow lakebed. In this image, I’m drawn to the juxtaposition of patterns and colors, both natural and manmade. But chiefly, I’m just pleased that I now have a photograph that embodies a nuanced, yet essential trait of Lake Tahoe that I have always loved.

Why bother, when…

There are already so many fantastic photographs in the world?

It seems like every subject and topic has been photographed?

In the time it took to read the last two questions, millions of photographs were posted and “liked” on social media?

The only time to shoot is a 15 minute window in the middle of the day?

The sky is beautiful and clear, but terribly boring for a photograph?

The scene is cluttered and imperfect?

The tripod is in the car?

The ideas aren’t flowing?

People don’t seem to care?

Doubt trumps inspiration?

Why bother? Because…

Millions of artists choose to “bother” every day — to contribute to the conversation of life.

I have an opportunity to contribute my unique perspective to that conversation.

When artists speak to me through their art, saying “Here’s a thought…,” I can return that gift with a tangible response: “Thank you. Here’s what I think.”

If I am especially fortunate, I can respond with, “Here’s how your art inspired me.”

If the world is especially fortunate, my message might make a difference.

When I “bother” to produce something, that something can last forever; or at least for a very long time.

The alternative is silence, and silence begets nothing.

Nothing is the anti-forever. It is a vacuum that sucks away our finite allotment of time on earth. 

During the act of “bothering,” barriers such as cynicism, doubt, and fear fall away; replaced with effort, discovery, and hope that the next frame will be the one.

The time is now

Bother to look. See. Capture. Make. Learn.

Despair if you must.

And repeat. Always repeat.