Sometimes It’s Not About The Photograph.

f/22, 20 sec, at 18mm, 100 ISO, on a X-T1

Sometimes it’s not about the photograph. It’s about the moment.

For the last few nights the sunsets here in Penang have been nothing short of spectacular. On Friday, as I was leaving the house to head to the drugstore to pick up some medicine, I stepped out into a sky that seemed to be on fire. The next night it looked the same. So last night, Alou suggested that Jessie and I go out and take some sunset photos, thinking we might get one more crazy sunset. After all, things often come in threes, or so they say.

f/3.2, 1/180 sec, at 18mm, 1600 ISO, on a X-E2

Stepping outside to run to the store we saw this sky!

So Jessie and I took off and went to find a place on the beach behind our house to set up our tripod and wait for this amazing sunset. We waited… the sun got lower. I started teaching her how most lenses are sharpest between f/5.6 to f/8. We kept waiting… I showed her how cool the X-T1 iPhone Remote app is. So we sat down in front of the tripod and played with the app for awhile. The sun sank lower and the sky got darker, but not a fiery orange, just dark blue with a splash of red. We increased the exposure to 30 sec. I suggested that she go stand really still and see if we can get creative. Soon she started doing her impersonation of “Dancing Shiva” (Don’t all kids know who Dancing Shiva is? No? Maybe too long in India?) As we sat there and waited for colors of the sunset to appear I realized this was no longer about shooting a sunset. This was about a father hanging out with his daughter. It was about building memories. In the end, the photos we shot were nothing great. Not even blog worthy, except to illustrate this point.  Sometimes photography is not about taking photos. Sometimes it’s just about the moment.

f/10, 30 sec, at 18mm, 100 ISO, on a X-T1

Jessie does her Shiva arms.

About Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer.

In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.

View All Posts

Learn more about these fantastic workshop opportunities:


Your Name*

Your Email*

Your Website


Your Message

CAPTCHA: Please enter these characters in the text field.


FaceBook Comments


4 thoughts on “Sometimes It’s Not About The Photograph.

Comments are closed.