Tag Archive: creativity


Hidden sun

I’m experimenting with my camera, looking for a couple of things.  Firstly, to understand the camera and its capabilities better and secondly, to increase my own ways of viewing the world, looking at it with fresh eyes.  HDR – even the letters scared me! – but the plan I had for improving my photography had  a section on HDR, and even though I tried to skip passed it, I felt I had to have  one try.  So – this is my first HDR experiment – and not a really good choice for HDR – just the sun hidden behind branches.  Definitely not the world’s best HDR image, but when I made it, different ways of seeing appeared for me.  This now looks almost 3D and that was a surprise.  HDR isn’t as scary as I thought.  🙂

Looking to the sun

As I was looking over the results of my different experiments, I realised a small theme of ‘in hiding’ was emerging.  The techniques and capabilities of the camera are in hiding until I deliberately go looking for them. I could just as easily set it on Auto and let the camera do all the work.  My creativity is in hiding until I start pushing it, by trying different things, looking at things in different ways.

Many of the subjects are in hiding – only glimpsed through leaves, or trees, or behind fog.  They also need to be found before they can become part of our conscious understanding.

When life is comfortable it is so easy to move through it without looking beyond the obvious.  Things are smack in our face, telling us clearly what they want us to see, do or think.  It’s easy to skip past the hidden pains and losses around us.  We also try to slide over the top of our own ‘hidden’ bits – the stories we don’t want told.  In not seeing, and choosing not to see, these things, how much are we losing?  Bypassing the chance to search for the hidden means we miss out on the hidden surprises and joy as well.

My photography will improve with more experimenting, and I hope my creativity will grow the more I see and understand of both myself and the world I live in.  Each of the steps I take along these paths of experiment and investigation brings me closer to seeing and understanding more of what is hidden in the world.

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Beauty

 

I’ve been wandering around museums and mausoleums lately and have been struck by the drive for beauty that seems to be innate.  Even back in Neolithic times, when, we imagine, life was more difficult, more primitive, more survival oriented than today, women still carved bone into hair decorations.

Our need for beauty that we create extends to everyday implements. If we need to identify our belongings, to me a simple mark would have been enough and efficient.  But instead from the beginning of thought we have created beauty with our markings.

 

Houses have been decorated as well – it seems that to create beauty for ourselves is an incredibly strong motivation.  This goes beyond identity, beyond practicality and into the realms of the spirit.  But most decorations aren’t based on a religion or pleasing the gods, but deeper into our own spirituality.  We create beauty to make our lives more meaingful, to add something beyond what is necessary to survive.

From adorning ourselves to adorning the world around us, from art to music, photography to sculpture, painting to collage, needlework to architecture, from gardens to natural scenery – we have a drive for finding and holding beauty.

Beauty is within us and is reflected by our external creation, by our search for it.

Influences or plagiarism?

The Reader

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius

My passion for photography has increased over the past 7 years.  I no longer leave my home without carrying at least one camera.  My eyes are continually drawn to things to photograph.  Street photography, landscapes, macros, architecture – there is just so much to photograph, so much that speaks to me of the connections between people and people, between people and their world and my connection to the world.  I have thousands of photographs, not all categorised yet, not all worked on yet, but waiting for me.

As I upload new photos I am cataloguing them with keywords and at the same time setting myself the task of doing the same with one or two batches of the older photos.  From this I can see that themes are emerging.  Clearly I ‘see’ the same issues, the same interests in many places and they call to me to record them. They fit in with my vision of the world.

In the last 6 months I have begun to look at other photographers blogs as well, and am frequently inspired by their wonderful images and ideas for collating those images.  If I have noticed a theme running through my recording of the world around me and then I see that theme made alive in a collection by another photographer, am I plagiarising or being influenced?

One particular series that concerns me now is the wonderful series by Steve McCurry http://stevemccurry.wordpress.com/ .  His ‘sleeping’ and ‘readers’ series resonates strongly with me because I have so many images of people sleeping and reading in interesting places.  These have been collected over a number of years, and labelled under ‘daily life’.  If I re-arrange them now into those specific areas because I recognise the clear connections – am I cheating??  They are by no means the same images, but by re-collating them, do I run the risk of ‘stealing’ creativity?

If I read a romance novel and write one later, have I stolen the concept of ‘love’, of boy meets girl, lovers have difficulties, lovers reunite and live happily ever after?  Or have I recognised the universality of the theme and interpreted it with my vision?

I have been developing a list of projects I want to eventually put together, when I find more images that fit, and in the meantime, I keep finding more ideas, and the more I read in books, magazines and on the web, the richer my ideas become, and together they will merge with my vision to create something unique.

I want to acknowledge the influences, but not plagiarise.