Cars parked amongst the tools and tents of a temporary paddock are not photogenic. No sir.
No matter how hard the sun shines, milking those morsels of creativity in a ramshackle village of mechanics, buffet lunches and camper vans is a hard task. Once you’ve shot one nose of a racer poking out in to those blazing rays, you’ve shot them all.
Well, that’s what it feels like to me anyway.
The glorious weather up at Donington Park was superb to be out in, providing some much longed for contrast and highlight that is often lacking so at UK circuits, yet despite the wonderful rays and heavy shadows, seeking out tit-bits of symmetry, detail or difference was bloody tricky.
As I lapped the paddock, beady eye at the ready and in between the occasional ice cream, It got me thinking about the longevity present in photography, and how creative can you actually get, before all you do is repeat what you’ve been done before.
I find it becomes more and more difficult, even when you are varying your application to new methods.
Technically, there are only so many ways to manipulate a camera. You may shoot fast, shoot with depth or with a slow shutter. The equipment you use has limitations that you have to manipulate, but it will always only be able to produce particular results.
You may also have noticed that many photographers are all about a particular style, even the world renown pros have a recipe for success that they stick to more or less – if it ain’t broken as they say.
This applies to us all. Even established professional do it; all apply a style, perhaps two or three even, and present their ‘vision’ consistently in their galleries, fooling us into thinking that each gallery is unique – but are they actually that unique?
For us keen amateurs, once you’ve found a style, setting or crop you like, the temptation to return to it is strong, especially if you’ve had success with the likes. A panning shot is always a panning shot; regardless of orientation or whether you shoot through, above or under something at 100th of a second or half a second.
So is it art? Is it actually creative as it’s all very repetitive and repetition isn’t creative at all.
Yet we all do it. We go out and endeavor to relentlessly capture images of wild blurs and bokeh views over and over again.
Why, I scream, falling to my knees! WHY!?
The search for the killer image? The perfect shot? An impossible task and as with all art, all ‘creative’ channels, it’s always subjective.
That’s a bit of a paradox; we create images to satisfy others; rinse and repeat.
So it can’t be art, can it?
The aim of true creative photography is to be a pioneer, to generate scenes and discover techniques that no-one has shot before. Star Trek style. Trying to find a unique edge to this photography malarkey and then apply it delicately so it’s not overused or plagiarized by others is the hardest part.
Even Ansell Adams took images of a specific variety, and he was a visionary. He didn’t even have instagram.
As my experience grows, my steadily developing opinion is this – Your eye and skill in spotting, composing and presenting an image, determines it’s attraction to viewers and hopefully a bag a few plaudits, no matter the style.
The techniques have to be employed,yes, but that not where the creativity in photography lies.
The creativity is in the scenes and telling stories. I hope you like them.