The Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts is a wonderful gallery here in my hometown. They are the anchor to our local arts district and draw visitors from miles away. I am fortunate to have been accepted as an associate artist there. A recent call for art at the Riverfront is the basis for this post. The call was for “A few of my favorite things, What inspires you and keeps you going?”
I thought this is a piece of cake, It’s my photography, right? Yeah, that’s what keeps me going. I got this. Then that little voice down inside says to me, “Hold on there bunky, it can’t be that easy” It was then that I was forced to look, and think, a bit deeper. Is it as easy as just saying photography inspires me, and keeps me going’ Do I just go around snapping pictures willy nilly and rejoicing in the results? Is it that activity that truly begs me to keep going? Wow, this is getting harder.
I was forced to look deep inside and reflect on what I’m doing here. Let’s start with the choosing of a subject. Is it the landscapes, beautiful sunrises, and sunsets? Is it the still life compositions? I do all of those and more. Is it the developing of a concept for my image, and taking the necessary steps to achieve that concept? In other words choosing how the final image will look, and seeing it finished in my mind before I even take out the camera. That is a gift that should be celebrated and nurtured.
Is it the actual capture of the image? Creating that perfect light, or waiting for nature to provide that to me? Is it knowing my equipment and how it works. Is it the digital processing of the image, knowing my digital tools, how they work, and how they affect each other? Is it determining the best way to present the final product to others that motivates me?
Now that I’ve taken a closer look, its quite clear that it’s not just saying photography inspires me. I would have to say that it’s the Process of photography that inspires me and keeps me going. Each one of the parts described above has equal importance to the success of my finished piece and has been given equal time, thought, and consideration.
A very simplified explanation of the process is represented by the image above. It is the image I will submit for the open call for art. I chose a white rose as the subject. The concept would be simple, and pure, with the rose resembling a soft watercolor painting, fading away around the edges. A high key capture technique would be used and and I knew what software I would need to employ to achieve the look I wanted. I’ve printed this on an archival matte paper to keep it soft with minimal glare and textural distractions.
So yes, it’s the entire process of creating my photographic images that keeps me going. I’ll challenge you now, to look inside yourself and find what it is that drives you. Do you employ similar steps as mine? Are each of the steps given as much consideration as the others? I’m not here to tell you how your process should be approached. Maybe I can just get you thinking a bit about how you arrive at your finished vision.
Till next time, take care and be creative
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