Take your time
Occasionally we find ourselves within the landscape looking for inspiration, waiting for that all important creative spark. We can find ourselves ‘looking’ but not really seeing. When this strikes I’ll focus more on the component parts of the landscape. [pullquote]It is almost like changing your own personal focal length.[/pullquote]It is almost like changing your own personal focal length. Sometimes you will need to just sit and try to take it all in. What is the point of getting wound up and frustrated when you are surrounded by such beauty? It is a bit like getting pissed off with insomnia when it comes knocking. A pointless and wholly counterproductive exercise. Take your time to enter the landscape, to get a feel for it and in time it will open up to you.
Just being out there, we are slowly decoding what we see around us. We get a chance to breathe. We might not take the lens cap off this time around, we may leave empty handed. I believe in these cases it is more about the intangible gains that we should focus on. What is gained from banging your head against a tree? Just a headache.
Heading out with a rigid creative concept can at times leave us inflexible and unable to adapt to the situation. Or occasionally to adapt to our own negative mindset. In reality, every minute spent out thinking, enables us to see the landscape around us differently. Some landscapes may not inspire a personal response and therefore we don’t truly connect. Other scenes will lead us to look more for detail, texture and tone. There is always something within every landscape. You just might not see it immediately, at that moment, in that hour or on that day. I know that what inspires me at a given time is entirely dependent on my mood.
I can be as stubborn as the next man when I head out with a preconceived idea but I think I might be ‘wising’ up a little, giving myself a bit of a break. I’m trying to think more about how strong images can be created in a myriad of ways. A strong image naturally requires ‘good’ (useful..) light and the ‘right’ composition but I think it is also very much about mood, our passion, our reason for making the image and our ability to connect with the subject.
Every photographer, every artist, every musician, or creative will at some stage face a challenge. It could be a lack of direction, a lack of creativity, it could be a lack of self belief or just a falling out of love with something you have devoted yourself too. We have all looked at images left on the ‘maybe’ pile at a later date and seen something different that now resonates with. Usually I shoot what I like, what works for me in the moment, what I feel and I hope that someone, somewhere will get a similar feeling from.
We all go through phases. Some are fleeting, momentary or can last for far longer than we would wish on anyone. We will always find a way to move through these patches. It just takes patience and understanding.