Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Creative block and photography

Archway, Belgrade, Serbia, March 2007

I've read a few posts recently (over at T.O.P., Chantal Stone and Butzi) on photographers suffering the equivalent of writer's block. It's artistic/creative people worrying about losing the creative urge. But is it a realy phenomenon?

Certainly we all have bad days, regardless of the pursuit. I have days at work when I can't think straight, get the sums wrong and generally can't get it together. There are definitely days I struggle on the bike: legs won't work, body won't respond, get dehydrated - whatever. it seems to me, however, that those with a more artistic bent get particularly worried.

I think perhaps they shouldn't.

The success is never measured in the quantity but the quality. For my photography, I'm always looking to come back with better shots than the last time I went out. I'm happy for the opportunities I get to take a day with the camera. sometimes I feel a little frustrated that i don't get out more but I'm not getting worried that I'm not seeing stuff to photograph - somethimes i'm just not interested, and when I am i look to take full advantage.

The recent Stourhead day was a case in point. I took a load, quite a few I botched (main due to poor exposure control) but i got a relatively high quantity that I decided to work, and a few of those I want to print.
A good day out, all told. Plus I find as much creative satisfaction in working on the photos and exploring the interpretations or wokring to bring out my vision as the actual spotting the photo in the first place.

Maybe artists just need to be a little more glass-half-full and think more positively about what they are actually achieving and worrying less about what they could/should/would achieve if only...

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