Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Creation In A Day?

First of all, let me apologize for taking so long to bring a new post.  "Writing" is not what I would call one of my strengths, so it takes me a while to try and decide what it is I should be "writing" about.  The challenge for me is something of a learning curve as I struggle to put into words the observations of my own work....why I do it,....what I look for,....my process,...my choices of color and so on.  There are several dozen decisions that go into any one image and as many reasons "why" any of those decisions have been made.  To try and explain any one portion of my work is not an easy task for me....for my desire is to be as relate-able and understandable as possible while at the same time giving you enough room to discover what you are capable of on your own.  I CREATE IMAGES....I do NOT take images.  The act of photographing something is one of the first steps but a long way from the finale piece.  So, let's get on with it.

As I mentioned above, I CREATE images.  I decide the "what","how", and "why's" of each portion of the image.  The reason I'm harping on this idea of "creating" has to do with my desire to change a mindset I believe some of you have toward your own photography.  For too long at the beginning it felt more as though other things were in control of my shots than I was.  It seemed the more interested I became in photography, the more external things began working against me to keep me from creating the images I wished to create.  My frustration level grew as environment, time of day, my camera, my software, and any number of other things stood in the way.  I was certain I was alone in my frustration while other photographers I was following were merrily wandering about, always at the right place at the right time as they clicked their shutters intuitively, coming up with what I regarded as one masterpiece after another.  I know now, that is simply NOT true.

We live in such an instantaneous based society, it is hard for it not to creep into everything we are or do.  We want things to happen "right now" and a false expectation taunts  us we need only to discover the equipment list, time of day, and methodology of our favorite photographer to begin clicking off one sensation after another.  

Photography is an art form, a trained thing. You train your eye were to look.  You train yourself to be selective.  You gain understanding for the "rules" that help make a better image.   

In the beginning I used to be ashamed of the fact I was using a point/shoot camera rather than a fancy expensive one.  I see now, it worked to my advantage.  Having less equipment to lug around  gave me the mobility to shoot in areas I would have been reluctant to try with heavier expensive gear.  And, after going on a few outings with photographers who carried stacks of expensive equipment as we hiked across the countryside only to look at their images later thinking...."whoa, really?.....too dark....out of focus....bad composition".  The reality that it wasn't the camera that makes the image, it's the person....really sank in. 

Give yourself the room and chance to grow.  Free yourself from the lie "this should be happening faster".  Fruits and vegetables  forced to grow and ripen quickly do not have nearly the flavor and enjoyment of those that have been allowed to develop naturally.  Your images need the same.  Give yourself and your images the chance to develop.  You are creating something special....a look....YOUR look.....and it won't happen in a day.


  1. What you say is so true. It's easy to beat ourselves up about photos that aren't exactly what we had in mind. But for each so-so photo I create, there is one that is exactly what I was going for and feels just right. Practice -- a practiced eye, a practiced vision -- makes perfect. And so I practice every day.

    Despite what you say, writing seems (from this perspective, anyway) to be one of your strengths after all!

  2. When I 'graduated' to a DSLR, I found the pure creativity much more difficult - I'm still struggling between learning to be a 'photographer', making technically correct images and letting the creativity loose. So, this is a good reminder - and very well written. :) And, as always, the images are inspiring.
    Thank you.

  3. excellent post. trust yourself and go after what you love - good message.

  4. Great Advice and Beautiful Images!