Enlightenment for a wave is the moment the wave realizes that it is water. At that moment, all fear of death disappears. —Thich Nhat Hanh
We offered you the challenge of translating one of our deepest human fears into a meaningful image to share with the Your Shot community. For many of you, going beyond the familiar clichés meant conquering a visceral dread, to try to understand what death truly means to you, before you could even begin photographing.
At the start of the assignment, we saw a huge number of literal, predictable visuals, but as many of you began digging deeper, we encountered more thoughtful, experimental approaches and more adventurous results. With time we were also seeing a higher proportion of technically refined images, which by displaying more attention to composition and light, attained a certain elegance of the frame.
We admired those of you who returned to situations to rework them, trying out different techniques. A determination to investigate more honestly separated serious photographers from those who seemed content to stay on the surface. We also realized that people were going back into their existing work, using this assignment as a catalyst to re-edit. While that can be valuable, this kind of recycling doesn’t allow for growth in your shooting.