More soul and photo studying for Find Your Eye. Really, if you missed out this go around, make sure you jump on next time Kat offers her classes. They're fantastic. **If you don't feel like reading a little soul search, you can just skim to the bottom and check out my images**
Coming to photography (and visual arts in general) later in life....I don't have a clue what the rules are. The one rule I gave myself when I first picked up my point and shoot 2 springs ago....if I like it, great; if I don't I can push delete. Not much stress there. That rule still applies thousands of photos and a DSLR camera later. I think it's good for me to have come to this art form with no boundaries.
I actually kind of like rules. Several times I've written to fellow bloggers for help, looking for "a rule of thumb". I've come without rules, yet I find myself collecting rules/guidelines along the way. I hope they won't stifle, but that they'll enhance my ability to be creative. The jury is still out on that.
As a musician I referred to myself as an arranger not a composer. What I meant-given a frame work, a set of guidelines....I can get super creative inside that box. What I don't usually think of is "the box". If someone says...."draw anything you want" that freaks me out. If someone says "draw anything you want using geometric shapes"....I'm ready to go.
In many ways photography is like arranging, not composing. I see something beautiful, a scene, or mood that an artist, God, or happenstance created....and capture it. When I'm stumped for images I go to an antique store or boutique where someone artistic has made beautiful displays. But what I am learning is the way I put my images together is an art form too.
It is hard for us to evaluate our own photos. I have a blogger friend who turns out amazing photos amassing all kinds of praise in comments...and still wonders "do my photos suck?" They don't. She can't see how incredible her work is. I used to say "I really don't know what I'm doing" until an artist I'd asked for opinions of my work said "You need to stop saying that. You do know what you're doing." She was kind and firm. I listened.
As I looked through my images for rules I've collected since day 1....blank. No clue. "What? I don't get it. How do you do this? Is there an example? Has anyone else done it yet?".....the usual drill.
Then I recalled one of the first rules I figured out on my own as I was framing images in the LCD screen on my point and shoot-I thought....who is going to understand what this image is? No one? Anyone? Some people? There has to be something in the photo to make it make sense to someone else who is looking at it. A frame of reference...a clue. I was thinking about context.
I created a rule that said an image needs to be placed in context-so someone beyond me can figure it out. But is that true? Is this a good rule or not? Who am I shooting photos for....myself or someone else? Hmmmm. And is a little mystery, a reason to pause, perhaps a good thing too? Hmmmm. And if I shoot images that come from my heart and appeal to me, will not others feel, sense, be moved in their own way...or just walk away wondering? And in that, can I stand behind what it is, whatever that may be, I'm saying in a frozen moment? Even if I'm unsure what the message is? I'm sure I can.