Reeds #1

 Posted by on July 17, 2017  Add comments
Jul 172017
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I attended a photography workshop recently held by a photographer (not from my local area) at a location close to our holiday cottage. Somewhere that I was familiar with and yet not spent time to photograph. The lady had sent out a questionnaire asking what we wanted to get from the workshop and i replied ‘I feel you have a different style from mine and I want to be challenged’. My reasons to attend a workshop were many in reality. A day away from the family, a day to myself, a day to play, a day with other people interested in photography. A day to see how a workshop is run; what works and what doesn’t. A day to be challenged. I felt that I achieved all of the list apart from being challenged.

Was that my own anticipation that someone would ask ‘have you thought of trying this?, how about from this angle’? Am I past that stage? Let’s face it, the voice in my head already asks that!
What did I expect to happen?
Why did I think that someone with a different style would challenge me?

I feel that we are all on this photographic spectrum. Each image that we create which we absolutely love is another step on our journey. When we look back on images they are often not as good as we thought they were; that’s when we realise we’ve moved on. When you look at a beginners photographs you can see those initial steps being taken, stages that we have passed through. The snap shots, the hint of creativity, the black and white phase. When you look at photographs that inspire, you know how to make them and the effort that’s gone into achieving them. Sure, sometimes there’s a bit of luck there too! However, you know that you too could achieve the technical aspects, even if you would ‘see’ the scene differently from another photographer. Therein lies the personal creativity and challenge.

Bruce said to me a few years ago about one of my Moeraki boulder images, something to the effect of ‘you made a novel image, in an area that was photographed to death’.

I am plodding along on my photographic spectrum. Sometimes we feel we go into reverse but in reality we don’t. Our developed eye still sees, we just don’t make the time to capture what we see, in the way that we see it.

I made time for a day of photography, that was a challenge in itself.
I made time within that day to challenge myself.
I, was all that I was needed.

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  4 Responses to “Reeds #1”

  1. Well done Anita. I like the feel I get from these, and they are all subtly different. I love the soft, simplicity of this last image. Courses are about learning new techniques, mastering someone else’ ideas and style, even. The trick is to make it your own in time – add it to your arsenal of tools, integrate it, weave it into your expression of yourself. Great process!!

    • Thanks Bruce. The last image was my favourite too. In fact there were three grasses in the one photo like the one that stands out but I preferred the photo of just the one. The more I reflect on that course, the more I have learnt. You are right about weaving aspects into my work. I’m certainly being more restrained about making photos and have been more proactive on deleting them too.

  2. Hi Anita, I found your thoughts on workshops interesting.

    As I see it very few offer more than either “here is a great place to photograph” or “here is a great way to photograph”. Presumably, that is what sells.

    But the best workshops that I have attended have achieved more than that for me. When I think about it though noone challenged me or pushed me but instead I was given permission to challenge myself and my own interpretations of things were acknowledged.

    The fact was that you knew that you wanted to be challenged so the instructor didnt have anything to do – she just left you be and you created these wonderful images

    • Thanks for your comments Ian. I’ve been ruminating on them! I agree with your thoughts. One of the best workshops for me was MBI in Christchurch! That was a lightbulb moment for sure where I realised the depth of my passion for photography. I think you’re right about the two styles of courses and in the run up to teaching at my local camera clubs now for a new season in September it has made me consider how I will approach that too. I think the ‘permission to challenge myself’ is the key.

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