Wednesday words-David duChemin

by on March 15, 2011

Latin Quarter, Copenhagen Denmark

What is needed is an adaptive approach to creative processes, not an adoptive one. In the words of Bono – every poet is a cannibal, every artist is a thief. We all draw from sources outside ourselves. The challenge is in finding your own voice, in adapting elements, thoughts, processes – whatever – and not not in adopting them. One strips former things down, re-purposes them, combines them with parts from myriad other sources still, and takes us to a different place than when we started. The other just likes what he sees, gets “inspired”, steals the original idea, and makes it his own with a can of spray paint. One is creative, results in something new and comes from the in-spiration of many sources; the other is just imitation and while it might well be the first step in learning your craft, it won’t get you any further.

Can I be honest…this is a struggle for me.  I’ve only been actively engaging photography for two years…I’m still at the beginning of my journey.  I learn best by doing…not reading…so over the last two years I’ve spent countless hours on Flickr…being inspired and then copying.  The process has been invaluable….by deconstructing and re-shooting an image I’ve seen I’ve not only learned a ton but I’ve also learned what to ask…and what I don’t know.  I’ve enjoyed the process…and still learn from it….but it’s time to start adapting.

One of my goals is to truly engage photos that I see.  To take the time to reflect on what aspect of the photo speaks to me…the subject?….the processing?….the framing?…..the emotion?  I want to do more than imitate…I want to truly create photos that move me and move others….that tell a story.

quote by David duChemin

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany March 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Good post, Jack. This is something I think about a lot, with regard to writing. The quote reminds me of one of my favorites, from Sylvia Plath ””I am a part of all that I have met.’ To you, all, whether or not you know, having wandered into the tissue of my life, and out again, you have left a momentary part of you which I will work into something…”
You have such talent… so whatever you’re doing is working!

mosilager March 18, 2011 at 3:55 am

I know what you mean… for me I’ve decided that the emotion in the photo is the most important, so I try to take photos that make me feel something. It works about 1/100 times!

Gary March 26, 2015 at 8:15 pm

It took me several years to develop my style and I’m still honing it in. I think you’re on the right track to finding your voice so just stick with it!

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