Sometimes I feel a bit frustrated— I feel that all the great discoveries in photography have already been made; and there is no new roads to pave.
But in reality, there is still so much “unpaved” roads in street photography, photography, and life we can discover.
Sorry for the cheesy “punny” title— but really; there is still so much room for your innovations and ideas in photography.
I think we tend to romanticize the past; we think everything in the past was so much more interesting. Thus our obsession with everything “retro” — retro filters of film photos (Instagram/VSCO), retro beats (sampling from older artists), retro clothing (go to any hipster coffee shop), and retro thinking (ancient/philosophers from 50+ years ago).
I think it is important to “learn from the masters” and to get a solid foundation in our photography, philosophy, and thinking. However once we have stable footing and a solid fundamental; we need to pave new grounds.
What new “truths” in photography have yet been discovered? What kind of new “genres” of photography have yet to be discovered (don’t think of the classic genres of portraiture, landscape, still life, etc). What kind of new photography projects haven’t been pursued yet? And even if every type of subject-matter has already been shot to death; how can you do it differently— in a way that nobody else has done it before?
I also would say don’t get so caught up being “original” in everything you do. After all, if you haven’t done a photography project yet— I think it is worth doing. Disregard comparing yourself to others.
Once you have accrued all this “knowledge” in photography, I would say start over again with a blank slate— “carte blanche” (white piece of paper).
Throw away your commonly-held assumptions out of the window.
How would you approach photography if you started all over again, today like a child?
What kind of “rules” are holding you back? What rules do you disagree with?
Fight against the tyranny of structure, rules, and organized “education” — be an “autodictat” (learn on your own) and guide your own self-learning.
At the end of the day, photography is a process in terms of getting to know yourself and knowing the world. Photography is self-discovery; adventure, and the chance for you to express your soul with others.
Don’t be satisfied with the paths that the greats have paved for us already— break off the paved path, and make your own path (for one day to follow as well).
12:15pm, Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Articles on Creativity
- Have Creative Confidence in Yourself
- How To Find Your Unique Voice in Photography
- Beginner’s Mind
- There is No Wrong Way to Shoot Street Photography
- You Can’t Control the Results, Only Effort
- On Capturing Beauty in the Mundane
- On Searching For the Maximum
- The Beauty of “Creative Constraints”
- How to Stay Curious
- Enjoy the Process