civilized ku # 5071 / the new snapshot # 32-33 ~ free your mind instead

sidewalk artist / Byward Market ~ Ottawa, ONT. CA (embiggenable)

colored objects - Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

feets - Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

In my last entry wherein I presented a quote from the Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian which read in part:

... ask yourself if what you are presenting will be of interest to someone else in a new and imaginative way?

Another part of the quote which I did not include asked:

... Similarly, are your pictures unique, or are you taking another famous artist’s ideas or style and adapting them with little change? Artistic appropriation, unless it’s extremely sophisticated and “additive” to the original idea, isn’t fair to the person whose work you admire—or, to be honest, yourself.

Regarding those questions / sentiments, I have always been suspicous of such counsel or advice which purports to encourage the pursuit of making pictures which display "originality" / "newness" free from the influence of what has come before.

My primary suspicion rests on the idea that there is nothing in the history of picture making, Photography Division, that has not been done before (excluding scientific picture making). Over the approximately century-and-a-half since the dawn of making pictures with a mechanical device, picture makers have explored a wide range of picturing making techniques and motifs. Similarly (again with the exception of scientific picture making), just about every referent of which a picture can be made has been made.

So, where does that leave us, the picture makers? iMo, it leaves us free to make pictures of anything and everthing in any manner we choose to do so.

iMo, it leaves us free to make pictures of anything and everthing in any manner we choose to do so. No apologies to those (and their pictures) who came before needed.

That written, I am not recommending or endorsing the idea (as an example) that the making of the ten thousandth camera-club imitation of a picture by Ansel Adams is a creative or imaginative pursuit. However, if it floats one's boat, sail away at it. Rather, what I am recommending or endorsing is the making of pictures of Ansel Adams' referents in one's own unique way of seeing them. That is, "forgetting" how Adams or his ten thousand camera-cluber have seen it, and seeing it for yourself.

iMo, the only pictures that can be considered to be "new", "imaginative" or "creative" are pictures which are made, not under the influence of what has come before, put which are made under the influence, not only of what you see, but of how you see it.

It is also my opinion that going about with a camera with the conscious intent to make "new", "imaginative" or "creative" pictures is the surest way to not be successful in doing so. It's all about freeing up your mind instead."