Originality is difficult, but it does happen.
It took a million years to invent the wheel and another five thousand to think to put them on suitcases!
Are fresh ideas just combinations of concepts that already exist? So it’s very rare for a really original thought to surface these days. If you think of photographic images everything has been done to death already. Are there ideas out there that haven’t yet been done? If you search for photo projects, there is nothing fresh listed there either. Where do we find these new ideas? Find new ways of taking the ordinary? How do we take the ordinary to new heights?
Surely with any subject however obscure an original document or record exists somewhere. We all think we have had divine inspiration with a thought, belief, or design but, does it really not result from observation of the world around us or things stored in our subconscious?
I like this quote from Jim Jarmusch
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
As photographers we might copy at first and then go on to develop a style of our own. And the development of that style can be a struggle but also a worthwhile journey. But ‘standing out’ having originality, demands courage and conviction, can be easily ridiculed by your peers and critics, how many of us have that strength of character to weather that storm? But these perhaps conceptual, weird ideas do need to be encouraged, photographic images viewed more for the total image than the sum of its parts and its sometimes poor technical issues. We need more critics with the knowledge and ability to articulate on these new concepts, to appreciate, encourage, and suggest improvements constructively. There comes a dilemma, but perhaps there is a way to get this critique on line or amongst our peers, but it is imperative that thick skins must be grown. This is where the one to one mentoring/ encouragement might prove useful, setting our goals and building a body of work, not for a camera club audience and judge but as an exhibition piece, or just for the personal satisfaction of achieving something worthwhile just for ourselves. I know a lot of us feel that competitions can stifle creativity, so…..
Don’t get caught up in the madness of originality get caught up in the wonder of creation.
Here is a link to an Ebook by Glyn Dewis, along a similar theme. You might also, if you don’t already, like to subscribe to his newsletters. I recently contacted him to come and talk to us, at present he is curtailing his commitments but have asked him to email me when he resumes them.
September 24th the date of our next meeting
Please bring a London Salon style image for some serious collective critique, print or PDI and let’s have some sensible talking about mentoring and setting some goals for 2018.
Technical Hints and Tips
What have you been doing over the summer? Show and Tell!
Discussion on ideas below
I am always very happy to receive ideas of what we might do or people we might invite.
The future ideas I have at present, that I would like to gauge interest in, are:
Additional cost involved and need to invite outsiders to make up the numbers,
Doug Chinnery Vanda Bailey Walk Workshop
Rod Wheelens Printing workshop
The above, are dependent on availability, cost and their desire to travel. Also, sometimes people are slow to respond and often do not respond at all! I know we have had ideas before which haven’t come to fruition but hope we can take some of these ideas forward.
Nearer to home
Janine is happy to show us more PS, but wants to know what we want and what would be useful.
Ady Kerry Walk and Critique
Mark Evans, Mono and Street
Look forward to seeing you on the 24th, just off away for a few days to immerse myself in the Art of Wabi Sabi, What? See below!!!!