Revealing light… and creativity

All artists and that includes photographers, suffer from periods when their creative juices slow down or cease to flow. Enthusiasm for their art wanes. Finding inspiration to make new work is in short supply. I feel that I have been in that space for a little while now. Slowly but surely though I sense things are beginning to change.

A couple of days ago I threw some of my kit into a camera bag and drove to a location I had been to before but never photographed. The early morning fog was slow to clear and the tide table app on my iPhone told me the the tide would be coming in. Perfect conditions for what I had in mind. I also wanted to take some long exposures; I was keen to get there.

The sea was fairly calm and the light was very flat, but as the morning progressed the mist lifted and the light began to reveal itself. I was in my element. I was totally absorbed. Anything else which had previously been occupying my mind had evaporated and all I thought about was taking pictures and looking forward to processing the files when I returned home. I have said before that ‘long exposures’ particularly invloving the movement of water is very relaxing. Photographic sessions in the open air can be therapeutic in a positive way. I count myself very fortunate to live near the coast.

Over the past couple of years I do believe I have developed a style of photography which I can call my own. It’s by no means unique but to people that are familiar with my work it is recognisable. This style certainly gives me great pleasure and I hope the images I make give others pleasure too. Often square format and processed to make a split tone monochrome photograph; the result is often quite calming or still. I do go off course from time to time but when I return to this approach I am always pleased to have done so. I feel comfortable……these are the images I most enjoy making.

I definitely learnt two things from this recent outing. Firstly, and yes this is so obvious it’s almost too stupid to mention, but you can’t make new images unless you get out there, take your camera with you and capture what you see. Secondly, I thought about the question of developing a style. I don’t believe that you can go looking for a style and expect to find it. You may mimic the style of another photographer, but then you are not necessarily being true to either your personality nor your attitude towards your own art. Your style is something which develops over time, and in time I think it will reflect your inner self and being.

It is also true to say that a creative style is constantly evolving. It will be influenced by others but it can only truly grow with practice by making time for what it is you love doing.

I have not devoted as many hours to my photography as I should have done in recent months, so is it any surprise I have suffered from hitting a proverbial ‘creative brick wall’? It’s time for me to knock a few more holes in this wall and get out and make more photographs!

Thanks as always for visitng and reading my blog.

9 Responses to “Revealing light… and creativity”

  1. pjs28jack

    As I am now able to see the above comment & not see my previous comment I am assuming that my original comment did not get recorded. Sorry about all this but here is the third attempt at leaving you a comment on this blog.
    Like you I have also been suffering from a “blocked wall” in my photography for the last 2 to 3 months with no interest at all in photography. Then last Wednesday this guy called Alan Frost (Ha! Ha!) gave a talk at my camera club which which has given me a right kick up the bum & got me back on track. I have since then bought a new lens & am going out to take some images today. I used to do quite a lot of B&W work but for some unknown reason it dropped off. Now I cannot wait to get back to the B&W genre. Thanks for this Alan.


    • alan frost

      Sorry you had issues posting your comment Paul, and many thanks for what you said. I am pleased to hear that my talk has inspired you to get out and take more B&W images. I think everyone goes through ‘non creative’ periods – I liken it to recharging your batteries but I never know what will ‘kick’ the starter motor back into life. Sounds like my talk may have done the trick. I do hope so. Alan



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