This is a very different kind of post for Luminary Corner, but as the year comes to a close and a new year is about to start, it's the perfect post from Panasonic Luminary, Giulio Sciorio. I haven't known Giulio for very long, in fact we met for the first time less than three years ago. However, since then, his images and teaching ability have filled my head with new ideas on how to be more creative with my images.
You can find more of his work, along with the rest of the Luminary team in the Lumix Lounge.
This guest post he sent me plants the perfect seed to help so many of you snap out of our complacency in simply being too comfortable with your technique and skill set. What I enjoy most about Giulio is the way he walks the talk. He's constantly pushing the edge of the envelope and challenging the traditional boundaries of technology and art.
So, take the time to read what he's suggesting, then go back and read it again! If you want to stand out in your community, you've got to make your work different, better than your competitors and not just meet client expectations but exceed them.
Make yourself habit-forming!
If you've ever seen live sports, a concert or any activity that requires great focus you'll notice the look of discomfort on the performers face. To make great art one needs to suffer a bit but it's that discomfort that sparks growth.
While no one believes that people like Ansel Adams or Bruce Lee were instantly masters at what they did, somehow we often think the latest tools or technologies will make us a better artist when in fact the opposite is true.
Anything worth doing well is not easy. Simply put, there are no shortcuts to creative growth. Sorry but gear, the latest plugin or gimmick being hawked at a tradeshow will not make you a better photographer. The tools might make your job easier but that's not going to help you have a breakthrough in your creative development.
If you want to be a better photographer you need to be uncomfortable. The problem is it's easy to become comfortable with our image making. Cameras are amazing today and with powerful tools for post production it's easy to make an image look technically perfect but does that perfection make the image good?
Do you only shoot raw? Try shooting JPEG for a day. Are you comfortable with a particular zoom lens? Shoot with a prime or if you don't have a prime don't zoom. Are you a portrait shooter? Explore landscapes for a week. Do you like shooting on the street but approaching a stranger scares you? Perhaps you should be actually talking to strangers and taking their portraits on the street.
There really isn't much conversation for where your fears lie in creating. You already know the answer. Because you know the answer to what scares you, you know what you need to do to grow as an artist.
Do not be reasonable with your creative growth, take action and grow as an artist or sit on the sidelines and watch others grow. I will warn you though, you may grow resentful at others who are exploring and growing creatively while you sit on the sidelines and that is not a positive way to live as an artist or to live your life in general.