October 3, 2010

Create away and object the rules: what photography is to me.

Camden lock

I remember taking this photo. I remember hating that I didn't have the time (nor the desire) to walk closer to make this photo work properly. To make it perfect. You know this lame frustration that comes from the fear of not having done it right, not perfect enough - the one thing not to do if you want to block your creative process. Dali said "Don't fear perfection, you will never reach it" - wise words to live by.

Well, one year later, you know what? I actually love that this photo is not perfect. When I took it, I thought "this is déjà-vu, don't even bother". And I didn't, I mean look at the photo. Later on that day when I saw it on my computer screen, I thought that if there were to be one photo in the whole album I would not share, this would be it. So why am I doing it now? to make a statement about this pressure that comes along in the so-called artist world and to simply say "screw this, it might not original but I don't want to censor myself, at least it's a wink at my dorky personality and my love for books". Because yes, sometimes we tend to forget that it is our blog... of course people will judge, will comment,  a few will love, but in the end the harshest judge will forever be yourself.

If you take a look around, there will always be people telling you how to do your thing, and what to do. You must have this, do that, do it this way and not that way. Be less of this and be more of that, and so on. Rules, rules rules. Who are they to say that? Who created all those rules? People judging, or people admiring the "oh-WHAT-a-genius" when all I see is a blurry black and white photography - but he/she must be good if everyone thinks so, right? Am I supposed to do it this way then? Of course my answer to that question is no, but I definitely judged myself a lot through the elite lens of what a photographer should be. Someday I will write a post about my vision of photography and the subjectivity of art  because the more I read about photography, the more overwhelming it gets and the more questions I have.

To summarize my opinion, I will say this: I believe that as long as you create, everything is fine. Rules can exist, making your own thing is what matters most to me.  That is also why the tagline of my blog "I'm not a photographer, I just take pictures" because I believe anyone can be a photographer, anyone can do art. In other words, anyone IS what they call "an artist". We are all artists in this life, some are just more willing to explore it.

I also believe that honesty is the key to everything in life and this applies to your art. So be true to yourself and people will love it. It doesn't matter if you are an encyclopedia of technical knowledge in photography or if you don't even know what a f-stop is. Shoot away, paint, draw, write, create, it does not matter what people think as long as you are doing something. That is big enough for you to feel proud of yourself.

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