Tuesday, May 17, 2005

From the editor of Lenswork

Advice to photographers

Never forget that all the great photographs in history were made with more primitive camera equipment than you currently own.

Ultimately, your real work is to connect your Self to the world.

Think clearly about your objectives. Which is more important to you: earning an income or getting your work distributed? Which do you care about more: making images the public loves or making images that you must? If you are lucky, these are the same, but if they are not, clearly knowing which is more important to you makes everything else easier. There are no right answers here. There is only confusion when you work at cross-purposes to your objectives.
Learn to work alone. Learn to work without distractions. Turn off the music. Surround yourself with silence. Each one of us has a muse within us who tries to communicate and advise us on the creative path. There are no exceptions to this. But there is also a universality that all muses tend to whisper. To hear them clearly one must reside in a very still place.

Finish it... There is a universal Law of Audience that says if you finish work, the universe cannot stand that it remains unseen.

Shoot more than you do; print more than you do; and be a ruthless editor. I'm serious. There is a great deal to be gained in sheer volume - not that volume itself is any virtue, but practice is. Besides, relentless practice does have a twin sister known as luck.

Art is supposed to have meaning, emotion, power, or magic. Don't merely show what the subject is; show what it isn't, show what it means, show why it is, how it is, for whom it is, where it is, and/or when it is.

Remember art is not about artwork. Art is about life. To become a better artist, first and foremost become a better person - not in the moral sense, but rather in the complete sense. Remember that the greatest artist is not the one with the best technique, but the one with the most human heart.

Via Crossroads Dispatches



Alan said...

thanks m for bringing this article to my notice - I've just spent a pleasant 10 minutes reading the complete article on Lenswork - it put into words some of my own thoughts about photography and gave me a few more to think about.

m said...

Yes I think I should read it slowly and really think about the points it makes! Woman with bags of photos in packets...

Lenswork looks really interesting if somewhat confusing navigation.