A little thought occurred to me months ago, and I never got to thinking about it in depth but someone said something last week that brought it back to my attention:
What is the relationship between the photography by other people that you enjoy looking at, and the photography you do, yourself?
A few preliminary, personal thoughts –
I enjoy looking at black and white images much more than I enjoy making them. When I look at the world it just doesn’t translate into shades of light & dark, but different shades of colour.
There’s a definite correlation between admiring beautifully dark images, and trying to create them myself. After watching Tim Burton films I find myself tempted to go out and find wicked looking trees to shoot…
The photos I enjoy looking at have changed over the last year or so, along with the ones I’m making – but I’m not sure if both have moved in the same direction. In fact I’m sure they haven’t, and it’s starting to get annoying!
I’m also beginning to admire more images based on more than the purely visual aspect, for example portraits (particularly environmental portraits) and general life-based, decisive moment type stuff – but I definitely don’t lean towards those subjects in my own work.
More and more, I appreciate subtlety. This is something I’m very conscious of recently trying to steer myself towards, and get away from the old super-saturated, eye popping, wham-bam effect. It’s definitely down to being more aware of the influence of commercial/popular amateur photography and conscious of my own taste rather than trying to have my photos looking slick, polished – and worthy of an ice-lolly ad!
Is it worth being aware of your influences, and making connections between what you like and what you are creating?
Are there maybe also influences on your photography that are non-photography, or indeed, non-visually based?
Can you be too conscious of influence, and lose your natural path?
I suppose it’s apt that my copy of ‘Art & Fear’ landed on the door mat this morning… beware, my next few posts
may will be full of this stuff!