September 14, 2020


To start this, I wanted to look at the definition of the word. “Creation” is the act of creating something. Really? To “create” is to bring something into existence.

So, in essence, it is starting with nothing but at the end of a process, there will be something in existence that was not there in that form before. I am in effect creating this post, but would you consider it art or am I just rambling in an incoherent manner.

Creation. Taking something from nothing and creating something is quite a thing. Where does the idea come from to start with?


I like the concept of projects. They start with a vague nebulous idea. Something like an itch under the skin and the idea for a project comes along. It can be, as in my recent case, Dawn or the life of the river. Either way, it is a vague idea. I have problems coming up with initial ideas, but I can work with ideas and improve them (hopefully) change them and I always find that once I start with an idea the next ones can flow out of the initial concept. So, I look at an image I take and decide whether I like it whether it has legs and take different ones around the same topic, then we have a set of images that relay the story to you.

Initial Thoughts

The initial idea is then not so important because it is likely that you will be pulled in different directions to fulfil the brief of the project. It ends up working from the initial project to final work, but the final work may have nothing to do with the project idea but conveys the project idea better than the initial ideas themselves.

It also follows that the final pieces of work for the project will be different for all of us each of us will move forward in different ways and come up with different perspectives on the idea.


Let’s take dawn. My take on it would be one of 2 things. The sky can be explosive or a non-entity or the mist. The latter can create a mood within the image. Someone else may focus on the calm of the time of day. Or the quiet. Each one may be a little different what I can say is that all the images would be a little different because of our different viewpoints and each one would be equally valid in its storytelling.

Who is it for

The big problem that I see is when we stop telling our story, or rather stop telling our story for ourselves and try to start for someone else. What is it that someone else wants to see? This is an issue for social media we all want to get vanity metrics but, in some cases, we stop creating for ourselves and start trying to make something for someone else.

The story gets lost. We become concerned with getting the story over in a way we think others will like. Let’s be honest here it’s not going to happen. No matter how hard you try how many focus groups you put your work into, no matter how many committees you attend there will always be someone who does not like your work. End of….

The Issue with committees is that you end up with generic mush that satisfies no one and presents us with a bland uniformed piece of work that does not satisfy the artist and in all likely hood annoys the population that said they like it.

The reason for this is that we do not want to offend anyone. We don’t want to step outside of the box. The moment we do we set ourselves up for criticism and derision over our work, in particular, being told that we are no good.

Hard work

I think that the hardest part of being a photographer is not the taking of an image but putting it out there for consumption by the public. Your work is no good. Not getting enough likes or engagement on social media. Do I need public validation of my work? It is just easier to leave the work on the hard drive and never show it to anyone. What’s the point in that?

My answer to this is, SO WHAT. I didn’t get up at 3.30 for your approval. This is my story, my interpretation of the world at that time of day. You may like it, may not, but it’s there. I have opened myself up for public gaze be kind to me or not I actually don’t care, the likely hood is that you have not taken the time to look at what is there anyway.

A Pause

Where have we got to? The creative process is one of taking a concept and looking at it, modifying it, changing it, rewriting the initial concept with a different frame of reference, and coming up with a finished product. A product that you, the artist is happy with. Not Joe Bloggs down the road who has looked at it after a heavy night of drinking and it’s all blurry. Does that come over as elitist it’s not meant to be? Create for yourself and accept that not everyone is going to like it.

There is a however to this.


This is someone commenting on your image. It might be something as simple as exposure or focus. It may be a processing aspect saying that they don’t like the work is one thing. If they say why they don’t like the work and there is a valid set of reasons then the same still applies. At least you have something you can take away and review your work with.

However, do not allow it to affect your confidence.

Use the feedback to get better not to hit yourself over the head with. I love getting constructive criticism I want to improve.

Go out, do work, enjoy the time, tell your story, but above all have fun.


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