“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Playing… Experimenting… Dabbling… Creating… Exploring…
Do those words resonate with you?
If not, why then?
How often do you allow yourself to make mistakes?
I had these images hanging out in the Lightroom “Blog someday” file for a while now not sure if I was ever going to share them with the world. They were created a while ago when “playing and experimenting” with a new technique I was testing out. It’s been such a while though I completely forget what the process was! Point being, sometimes you have to give yourself a little space to go out exploring. Far from my comfortable HDR processing world, this completely different style will continue to take a little time and further exploration to get the look I am after, but the real learning is in the journey with the many mistakes to be made.
I was reminded of that tonight when I was watching a video on Kelby Training from Joe McNally on flash. I really resonated with his concept that it’s best to approach your art as play and the tools we use (camera, flash, software) all as toys we include in the sandbox.
“If we don’t take time to play, we face a joyless life of rigidity, lacking in creativity. The opposite of play isn’t work, but depression. If we’re going to adapt to changing economic and personal circumstances the way that nature armed us to do, then we have to find ourselves having some play time virtually every day.” – Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan in their book
The object of the game of this kind of play should never be to get it perfect, but to use each session as building the story of your craft….one block at a time. His classes express that pretty well. He starts off with a simple click…on camera flash…a fairly normal and flat image, but nice. He then continues to build on it. One block at a time, a mistake here and there, a success, another mistake…..slowly taking the journey to a finely crafted masterpiece. Never loosing site of the fact that every imperfect exposure is only but a step to be embraced and learned from. Lessons we can all use no matter where we decide to use our god given talents!
I’ve personally been thinking alot about a few other areas to explore in this wonderful world of digital art and photography, and will of course share those here on the blog as I continue my journey.
There are many ways to view a scene around you. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself. Self assignments are a great way to do that. Also, getting away to create your art with a group of other artists that of course, each viewing and displaying the world in their own unique way is another great option! The feedback and collaboration can be amazing actually.
I look forward sharing with you in a post very soon about how I decided to do just that on a workshop I was on late last year.
Till then, remember to play!