I heard a quote recently that said “…you need to work more on your emotions than you do on your technique.” Paul Caponigro
Now I don’t wish to labour my own perspective here too much, (after all we are all entitled to be different), but sadly I do suspect that for many, this statement will fall short in the absence of genuine appraisal. I suppose that it may sound just that bit too touchy feely, to be given justifiable critical enquiry.
This technical centric philosophy, that many photographers unquestionably sign up to, is undoubtedly a powerful, (dare I say a masculine) rejecter of emotions. Please don’t misunderstand me here, I do respect the crafted artisan skills that are required to produce a strong technical piece, but all too often I see this elevated, (incorrectly in my view) above creativity. Maybe it’s because I teach a technical and creative subject, (computer animation) that I have firm convictions towards creative coming first, but the technical execution is only a problem if you sign up to a set of self perpetuating western cultural rules. (One’s image must be pin sharp....one’s image must not have burnt out highlights and some detail in the shadows....thou must use mirror lock up...thou must not deviate from these set in stone rules.....kind of thing), But why accept these rules?
Yes, yes...Yes, photography is a technical ‘and’ creative pursuit and it’s only natural that we all have different motivations for our interests and inspirations. As I’ve already said, that’s fair enough, but the key thing that many fail to consider is how images are consumed by the “none photographer”; the way an image makes them feel, is of prime importance if you want a wider audience.
Anyway moving on, what I find so refreshing about ‘good’ photography, (or should I say a good photographer), is that they offer you the viewer an altered view on the world, one just slightly different to your own furrowed perceptions. It engages emotions, places you in the moment, but offers you a signature of the person who interpreted the scene, like a ghost on your shoulder. I like to be moved, I like to be immersed and above all I like to escape. Good landscape photography makes you “feel” something. So the next time you are stressing about these technical ‘rules’, why not just try to adopt some creative feelings. Why not stand and look, stand and feel, why not question how you are going to translate those feelings you are having about the place you are in, the wonder you are looking at, into guiding your creative choices. Come on guys, let’s book a male (or female) bonding drumming tepee workshop, group hug anybody................... (Joking)
Anyway, this shot was made at Saltwick Bay a few weekends ago. We escaped for a few days to a lovely little cottage, (indecently just above this beach) and I headed down there a number of times. This particular morning I was alone, which is a first for this beach, so I truly experienced this wondrous sunrise in peace. (Well if you call sprinting down the beach from the rocks at one end to the other for a better angel on the sun relaxing, which I do). The trouble is that I wanted to be in two places at once, and the rocks disappearing under an incoming tide were just wonderful, but I was shaded by the big cliff you can see on the right in this image. so knowing where and when the sun was coming up, I chanced the colour at the far end, then legged it up to this spot, where I knew the foreground interest would be around for longer and I’d have a better angle on the sun...Who was it again that said that landscape photography was tranquil.....
Landscape and travel
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