On photography…

Photography, both the craft and the art, helps me to be. It allows and enables me to live creatively, which is to honour creation and my own existence. 

FREEMAN PATTERSON

small abstract
Double exposure: Leaves and the river in the fall

I never know where I’m going to find creative inspiration next…Sometimes, I see or feel something in other’s people’s images or words. I may experience a sharp flash of insight or a soft sense of recognition that washes over me like a fine mist at the seashore.

Inspiration may come as I look through the viewfinder, or I may not feel it until I see my raw images onscreen. It may abandon me for days…only to return with a shudder of realization or a frisson of enthusiasm.

One thing I know is that human beings are all creative. That’s one characteristic we all share — although how we express it differs radically. Sometimes it is used for ill. Most often, for good.

How we choose to live out our creativity is at once a deeply serious yet profoundly joyous matter. And how we engage creatively with ourselves and with the world deserves some conscious deliberation once in a while…

Since this is a blog about photography…the question becomes how do we talk about what we do as photographers? I don’t mean the “how” — there is an untold number of informative books, articles, videos and courses about that.

I mean the why.

I ask myself why I am so entranced by pointing this boxy black gizmo at patterns of light and shadow and colour out in the world. Freeman Patterson offers one answer that speaks to me. But there are also others who help me understand my own feelings about photography — about creativity, originality and authenticity.

Lately David Duchemin and Kim Manley Ort have added to the depth of this important discussion with utterly thoughtful contributions. Each has just published a heartfelt reflection on the art and craft of photography and why they do what they do that I urge you to read.

I know I love a piece of writing when I find myself copying down several quotes from a short piece. Thank you Kim and David.

Photography, for me, is not so much about self-expression or even expression of the subject, as it is an expression of the connection between the two. Essence meets essence.

Kim Manley Ort

Evolution of a Photographer: Part 1

Evolution of a Photographer: Part 2

Chasing authenticity is like chasing originality. Spend too much time doing it and you’ll lose sight of the thing you were aiming for. Explore. Play. Follow your gut. You’ll know when it’s you and when it’s not.

David Duchemin

On authenticity.

On authenticity. Again.

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10 thoughts on “On photography…

  1. Your post really spoke to my heart. I am fairly new to photography and still learning lots of the technical aspects to the craft but wanting more than just “getting it right”….I want my photographs to speak from my heart….
    I was so surprised when I started to read where you were sharing David’s article….I just posted on this article a few days back. I find his articles inspiring…
    I am so glad to have found your blog; it’s beautiful and encouraging…..

  2. Your time spent on your photography is really coming to a good place…your work is lovely and your creative juices are flowing my friend…that leaf photo is just so beautiful…can’t wait to see what you do next.

  3. “Spend too much time doing it and you’ll lose sight of the thing you were aiming for. Explore. Play. Follow your gut.” – David Du Chemin’s words say it perfectly for me. That’s what I’ve learned.
    I love your double exposure!

  4. I really enjoyed your text where you explain your relationship with photography! It’s such an enriching journey, isn’t it? Going about photography without analysing but listening to the heart and inner feelings speaks to me the most.
    An interesting double exposure image! I like the golden colours shining through very much. Double exposure is something I’ve never tried!

  5. What a wonderful, wonderful post! So much to think about and so much to relate to. I agree with Pat’s comment above…sometimes over-thinking the technical part kills the creativity and the enjoyment. Thank you for this Sherry!

  6. Thanks, Sherry. I tend to be more interested in thinking about and reading on these topics than on the technical aspects of my camera or post processing. My favorite photos were not the result of technically perfect shots but because I was following my soul’s direction. Maybe some day I will want to get better technically but right now I want to have fun.

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