The Creative Photograph


Golden Gate Bridge from Marina

“There’s only one rule in photography – never develop colour film in chicken noodle soup.”

– Freeman Patterson

As promised, I will post some photography for awhile. In my experience, most people really like on medium or the other but rarely both. So I hope I will not alienate any loyal followers out there who have been frequenting my blog because they are painting lovers. I will post paintings again as my new series evolves. In the meantime, some snaps…

People often operate under the belief that photography doesn’t allow for as much creativity as painting. There’s so much experimentation possible with painting, so many techniques. Photographers  sometimes get bogged down because they take a picture and it comes out of the camera almost ready-made – or so it seems. So much is there to start with that it’s easy to feel there isn’t much more to do and the creative juice spigot is turned off. But as Patterson says, one should feel little or no constraint in fooling around with how the shot it taken, what you do to it afterward or how it is printed. This should just be the starting point!

I would like to see more workshops, articles and books on photography emphasize the creative dimensions possible with this medium. Perhaps because a photograph usually starts off it’s life as a literal representation, it seems improper to start messing with it. And certainly there a lot of gimmicky treatments people try, especially today with the digital toolboxes we have access to. Hopefully you’ll see some interesting (yet tasteful!) interpretations here…

7 responses to “The Creative Photograph

  1. This photo is very appealing. I like the contrast, the composition and the color play. I tend to look at both photography blogs and art blogs, so I won’t be alienated if you switch from time to time.

  2. Thanks, Leslie and Mary! I think that artists themselves are more “promiscuous” when it comes to different mediums than the general public sometimes is.

    I remember one event I did where I was showing only photography – someone stuck their head in the door, looked around, and asked “Where are they showing the artwork?”. One of those things you look back on and laugh, but at the time…

  3. Some time ago I wrote this as part of an artist statement:

    “We typically think of photographs as somehow being ‘true’, as being a real representation of what the photographer saw. In practice of course photographers have always manipulated reality from the earliest days. Some, like Oscar Reiljlander constructed elaborate collages depicting mythological scenes. Others like Angus McBean brought surrealism to the medium while others like Man Ray used extreme processing methods like solarisation to generate new visions. All met with some hostility from ‘traditionalists’ before being absorbed and accepted as part of the aesthetic of photography.

    This tradition is being continued with digital imaging. Everything that has been done with film can be duplicated in digital form, but new tools are also being developed, offering new opportunities and new ways of seeing the world. The technology is still new and rapidly developing. Much of the art world has yet to meet and understand its potential. So far there is no commonly accepted aesthetic response to the characteristic feel of digital images and it is exploring this aspect that most interests me.”

    Elsewhere I have referred to photography being freed from this idea of recording, from being a literal representation.

  4. Ian

    Very well said! I think you are absolutely correct, there is an aesthetic specific to “digital art” that is just at its infancy. One of the challenges is that the line between more traditional treatments and the new digital capabilities is very blurred so it’s not always evident when one has entered the realm of that new aesthetic.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  5. mixing- or drawing inspiration from one media to another is what I like best! So your blog is in line with my “art mind” 🙂 I found your blog via your wife’s. I found her’s by “accident” when I googeled something completely different. I’m an artist and creative coach too, and happy to be a part of this universe 😉 I’m not surprised I ran into you and your wife here, it’s only natural that I’m open to the very vibrations that I too send out (sorry for my poor english, seems I am too tired still this morning), and I’m very glad to have found “kins” on the web! Thank you for sharing good thoughts and good art! I’ll put a link to your place on my blog, and I’ll return for more inspiration 🙂 Have great day!

  6. That’s a great photo you have here, Bob! The only advantage painting has over such images is texture (and maybe, but I,m not sure, big dimensions…) Glad to be back on your blog, even if you are busy right now…16 07.

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