Sunday, 17 September 2017

What's it all about, Alfie?

Every so often on the photography forum someone will post a 'thinking of giving up' thread. The reasons are always dissatisfaction with their results or a lack of inspiration. Being unhappy with your photography is par for the course if you are at all critical of your work.Critical not in the dismissive sense but the critical appreciation sense. Unless you think there is room for improvement you're probably not trying very hard. But that doesn't mean you can't still think your work has some merit. Progress isn't linear, it goes in fits and starts. That's just the way things are. Lacking inspiration is also part and parcel of the creative process. That, too, progresses jerkily.

I don't worry about either of these factors. When my photography is good I think it's pretty good. Although I don't believe in inspiration (in the coming from above sense) but I still get stuck for ideas. Usually making more photos does the trick. When one project is ending knowing where to go next is always tricky and there can be many blind alleys before you find one worth continuing down. I don't have too many problems in this respect. Sometimes it's the opposite and I have too many ideas.

What does get me thinking about jacking it in is the futility of it. I'm well aware that people do creative things because they get something out of it on a personal level. It keeps the brain working, it's educational. Stuff like that. But, and I think it's a big but, music, literature, photography all produce something which can be heard, read or looked at by other people. Unless that happens it all seems a bit pointless to me. (Rather like this readerless blog!) That is where I really get blocked and start thinking of giving up.

One of my pointless ideas is to do something about sheep. But pictures of sheep are boring. There has to be more to it.

Wandering up a bleak and boggy moor some ideas began to emerge. A way to make the pictures tell a story in an obtuse way. Pictures about sense of place.

Pictures about the harshness of being an upland sheep.

It's strange how climbing a hill can get a head filled with ideas clattering against each other. On the technical side it also decided me that the 'toy' camera and its lenses can sod right off. Every one of the pictures I took with it got deleted when I was back home, while most I took with my larger sensor compact were kept. One is posted here. I shall also endeavour to give my superzoom lens a rest for a while. Sometimes the gear does have an impact on the pictures.

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