Point being, don’t just leave it to photographers and film-makers – you can find inspiration anywhere. The more you take from that well of inspiration, the more you shoot what pleases and moves you in that odd little way, then the more your work begins to acquire a character and coherency of its own.
Absorb and adapt. Keep reading, keep looking, keep making it your own.
They’re a never-ending source of inspiration and fascination for me. Watching someone who is transfixed by their side gig, and who is good at what they do – it doesn’t matter what the hobby is, it’s fun to watch and listen.
I’ve had my share of hobbies over the years: comic books, old Macintosh computers, photography, travel. You know I’m into something if I start a blog about it.
I have a theory that the fan art we see these days is just another version of religious art during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. What do we care about? What are we passionate about, as a culture? What moves us emotionally? That’s what gets made in sculpture, painting, drawing, etc. And a lot of it comes with no expectations of fame, money, or recognition. Most people just want others to share in the joy of creation.
Success is really an iceberg. On the surface you see the rewards and accolades, but underneath it is nothing but blood, sweat, failure, hard work, frustration, set backs, disappointment, and resistance.
I would argue that buying even 5 great street photography books will do more for your photography than any lens out there would. And assuming that each photo-book was $50, that would cost $250. That is a small fraction of any lens that you could purchase out there.
Good reminder this weekend, when you have some time for reading. And for the holiday season, when those Amazon gift cards come rolling in.
I was invited to give a talk at the Jackson Civic Art Association Tuesday night on my still life photography: what was my thinking, what were my techniques, etc. It was also a how-to for other artists to think about making their own still life paintings, drawings, or photos.
It’s a good way to really think about your own projects. If you have to explain the whole thing, from idea to execution, you get really intimate with your process. I feel like the talk was good for me and helpful for them.
And many of the group members did come up and compliment me on my presentation. “I really appreciate the length of your talk,” one lady told me. “Some people are up there for hours going on and on about technique.”
That’s another thing: can you show and tell in an efficient time frame?
In another life, I was probably a teacher. Coworkers at my last job nicknamed me “Professor Dave” because of my presentation style, and my love for getting up on a whiteboard and scribbling out thoughts and ideas. I see talks like the one I gave Tuesday as part lesson, part performance. It’s fun for me.
It was also fun to break down my inspirations, thinking, and planning during the still life project.
What if we finally thought about breaking out of that narrow little world I call “photoland”? If were really serious about it, that would not entail giving up all of the things we believe in so dearly. But it would mean thinking about a lot of them a bit differently. You don’t like Humans of New York? Well, try to do a site that does the same thing, but better (whatever your idea of “better” might be).
Colberg’s points are that (a) photographers might want to keep their art world exclusive (“Do photobooks, for example, always have to be luxury objects?” he asks), and that (b) nothing interesting comes from catering to that exclusive world.