In this months Outdoor Photography Magazine, one of my favourite photographers, Valda Bailey talks about the importance of play in ones creative pursuits. It's a fantastic piece and one that I wholeheartedly agree with.
Over the past 6 months I've found surprising fulfilment in certain aspects of my photography that are quite far removed from a classic landscape image. Of course, and Valda talks about this in her piece, these images can often face a wall of painful critique (or worse, stoney silence). Still, i think it's important that we are making our art, first and foremost for ourselves. If an image I've created doesn't resonate with me, on some level, then what hope is there for it to move someone else.
One aspect, I would add to the piece, is that I find this form of playing is so much more of a journey than simply setting out to create a more standard landscape image. With a more traditional image you can sometimes feel you have represented the scene as best as it could be with most of the required elements (mood, light, atmosphere, subject) coming together to create a pleasing image. At play, while the image may indeed be pleasing and close to what I had envisaged when I first set out to create it, I know that even the very next frame could take me down a completely different path of creative discovery.
And that excites me and drives me on to play more, much more.
I recently highlighted three of my favourite photographers who are very much in tune with their playful side when it comes to creating art. I encourage you to watch the video and check them out.