Some say that a blank canvas is the way to find true creativity. A way to let your mind run free without constraint or manipulation.
It allows you to utilise whatever tools and media you want, to make the most of the space and apply your ideas in any which way you see fit. It’s apparently liberating and a unique method of inspiring oneself.
Creativity comes in may different shapes and forms, and trying to capture an image using a camera is just one way of manipulating a ‘canvas’.
But I loath the idea of a blank canvas.
Over the years of working in the creative industries (my day job is in graphics and print design) I have discovered that I need to be ‘into’ an end project or goal for me to achieve the best results. To explain it another way; I require a hook up. If I don’t feel inspired by something, I turn off.
I’ve learnt that you can’t force or summon genuine ideas – they come from within, like a spark, then they carry an inherent enthusiasm – so when I’m out photographing the track, I find the same applies.
If particular situation or scene doesn’t grab my attention. I begin to switch off.
I’m then simply a machine, clicking a picture button, and that’s not cool.
Inspiration may come from something as simple as the sun glinting off a bonnet, an odd shadow, or perhaps a colour or angle I may glimpse while drinking tea or having a chat. That little spark is all I need to get inspired; then it kind of snowballs.
But when faced with a blank canvas, I struggle. Big time.
My first visit of 2017 to the British GT at Snetterton presented that exact nemesis.
I’d taken the trip to Snetterton a couple of times last year, and this time round I was really enthused. A potential two hours of racing, a meaty grid of GT cars and a pit walk were there for the shooting.
It didn’t turn out as expected.
From the first few releases, I knew the day would be incredibly uninspiring. Despite preparation, ideas and enthusiasm on the trip up, I almost instantly switched off.
A feeling of familiarity descended, and no matter where I wandered, searching for potential shots, that familiarity just grew.
Snetterton is unfortunately a blank canvas – it lacks any real feature or undulation. It’s green and grey decoration
(grass and Armco barrier) are consistent throughout and while there is no eight foot fence, everywhere you stand, with the exception of the start/finish straight…the vistas are pure doppelgänger.
I realised this monotony pretty quickly, and even a visit to the pit walk failed to provide any spark in a melee of signature hungry fans and cluttered garages.
The only area of the circuit I didn’t visit was opposite the pits. I’m pretty certain that a few decent images could be had over looking the start finish straight from the opposite side of the track, but by the time I’d have got around to that part of the circuit, the race would have been done.
Next time, I’ll have to plan a bit better me thinks.