Good images are hard to create. This project makes that fact very clear to me.
We are continually presented with common scenes that are well known, perhaps even cliche. Why take a photograph of something likely seen many times before. What’s the point?
These are the thoughts that are often racking my brain. They’re destructive. They can lead to procrastination, creative paralysis and ultimately avoidance. These thoughts can turn me away from the practice of photography. Why take an image of a common sight, a bicycle a street scene or a landscape? It has all be done before so why waste a frame? Why indeed?
Simple questions, personally difficult answers.
Answers to these simple questions don’t come easily. Why indeed take a photograph of most anything? Do people want to see another image of an old car, a cemetery or a tree…at sunset? A random person on the street? Will anyone else care that hours were spent walking and carrying gear to take an image they quickly and fleetingly give a casual glance? Why should they? Why should they be expected to pay any attention never mind emotionally relate to a photograph.
Truthfully we shouldn’t worry too much. Ultimately the reason for personal photography is to satisfy an emotionally personal need to create images. We photograph for a reason. Every image has a prompt. Something catches our eye worthy of our time and effort. Something in the scene speaks to us, sometimes with little presumption of any meaningful message to anyone other than ourselves. Perhaps that’s the way it should be. Ultimately we’re responsible for our own work. We need to be satisfied first. We need to get past the mental roadblocks and discouraging thoughts. Ultimately we need to get off our proverbial butts and just get out and shoot without mental barriers and creative walls.
We won’t always be successful but we’ll be present and will be creating work. Ultimately with the right drive and passion we’ll make better images. More importantly we’ll be pushing to create better work because truthfully nobody will ever achieve the perfect photograph but for those of us who love photography it’s still the ultimate quest.