Understanding is the key

Wednesday, December 2, 2009
In a past blog entry I wrote about the difference between an artisan and a craftsman. The majority of that entry was written for an assignment outside of this blog, but the comparisons have stayed in the back of my mind as I evaluate my own work recently, With my work, school and family schedule being fairly tight right now I find I don’t really have the free time for being creative and writing for this blog sometimes is put on hold. Unfortunately when I do have the time I often don’t have the frame of mind for being creative. . This weekend I witnessed how my work is affected by my frame of mind. Due to these time constraints I have shifted my creative energies from shooting and editing to writing and photography. When ever my job situation prevents me from shooting video on a regular basis I turn back to photography, a passion I’ve had since I was a little kid. This is a easier for me because it doesn’t required much more than myself and my camera. I’ve gone through these periods before and usually they are productive in that I usually focus on honing some knowledge or technique. This time I’m really stumped on my creativity. I go back and analyze my photos and wonder what artistic merit do they have if any at all. I wonder of I’m a craftsman or an artist?? More specifically I wonder of I’m a creative photographer or a documentarian.
This week end I had the opportunity to go out and photograph for fun. I took my new Pentax K7 and my three year old daughter to a car show. I’ve had the camera for a month now and in general have been really pleased with it. I no longer feel that the quality of the images I’m taking is limited by the technology as I had been with my old camera. I carried a few different lenses hoping to get to work with them in more depth than I have in a few years, hoping their alternative views would kick start some creative shooting. Things started out well and I got a few shots that look different than the standard family snapshots I’d gotten for thanksgiving a few days before. I find that when I lose the creative eye I revert to shooting to document instead of shooting creatively and I wanted to avoid that mentality on this outing. I tried to shale the cure over thanksgiving and try to with a photographer’s eye and not a snap shooters eye. I had a few successes but I was still not working on the level I wanted to be. I hoped the car show would be a good opportunity to work on this. About four minutes after I started shooting my daughter touched a light on one of the display’s and I was reminded that with her around I could not be a photographer that day, I needed to be a parent . The rest of the day the photos looked technically ok, but they lacked life. I had turned back into a documentary photographer. I took pictures of cars I liked. I took pictures of cars Kate liked. I took pictures of Kate looking at cars. I even took pictures of cars my wife would have liked since she wasn’t there to see them in person. All of the shots were the same, three quarter view of the entire vehicle. I’m ok with them, but I wouldn’t want to put any one through looking at the whole days output. Its ok. Kaye and I had fun on one of our daddy daughter days and she didn’t want to leave three hours later. I have photos of cars that will be of inspiration for the day I get to build one of my own in the garage with Kate and Calvin. The big thing I learned is I know where my weakness lies and I what I need to watch for.


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