My good buddy Scott Bourne has written a lot on the SCU blog since we launched in January 2013. One of my favorite topics relates to the value/responsibility you have as a photographer. In this post from the archives, he hits on a point, so many of us don't think about - the singular control/power you have as an artist.
When I launched "Why?" a few weeks ago, I had no idea how relevant this post by Scott would be. Each artist has shared insight into one of their favorite images. Over and over again I've been amazed at the back-stories. They're all singular accomplishments by some of the most passionate artists in photography today, including Scott with "Cranes in the Fire Mist."
Take five minutes today and look at one of your early images from the start of your career. Then, compare it to an image you took in the last week or two. To Scott's point, not only is the final image singular in its creation, quality and technique but so is your growth as an artist!
If you want to follow what Scott is up to lately, wander over to his website with a click on the image above.
Note: Shortly after posting this Scott commented. "I wrote this before Mr. Nimoy's passing. Now that he's gone it seems even more important."
Post – Inspired by Seth Godin
If you look at how many people it takes to make a movie, or record a CD, or build a bridge or to make a car, you might stop to realize that the beauty of photography is that generally, it is the work of one human being. The maker of the photograph alone creates the composition, finds the light and presses the button. Yes, there are a few exceptions to this in professional photography where there are set designers, models, makeup artists, etc., but I’m talking about the average prosumer’s work here. One person with a camera and an idea, by themselves, ready to thrive on the glory of success or the agony of failure – all by themselves.
For many, the solitary nature of photography as an art form is a very appealing thing. I once spoke with Leonard Nimoy. Back in the mid 1990s, he exhibited his nude photography on the Internet for the first time through my site f64.com. He told me that while making movies was something he enjoyed, it was always a collaborative effort. You had to rely on others doing their part before you could do yours. You had to let the project sink or swim based on the combined effort. The notion that you alone can make a photograph – and that you alone can control the outcome and live with it, was something that drew him into photography. He remains a very dedicated and serious photographic artist to this day.
I know that when I am alone, in the woods, or at a park or even at a race track, I feel challenged to find a way to tell my story and I feel gratified knowing that it will live or die based solely on my effort.
There’s nobody to blame but yourself when the image doesn’t work. The good news is – there’s also only one person who deserves an “attaboy” when it does – and that’s you!