Lead, follow or…

By: Darrell Klein

Oct 17 2007

Category: Art, Creativity, Image, photography, quotes

5 Comments

Photo: Catfish – Holladay, Tennessee

There has been much discussion in the photography blogging community regarding vision. In particular, this vision discussion has centered on how it relates to a photographer’s style. Mark Hobson has a wonderful blog called The Landscapist. He has had authored several posts recently discussing his views on vision. I like what he has to say and I recommend that you check out his recent posts, this one in particular. Below is an excerpt from that post that I totally agree with and deals with a concept that was very instrumental in my growth as a photographer.

The vision thing is very personal and it must come from within. At its root, it is the result of being your own person, or, put another way, the result of fostering your own individuality. Now, to my way of thinking, fostering your own individuality can not be accomplished by following the crowd – even if the crowd is being lead by a sincere and passionate leader. No matter how you slice it, you still have a ring in your nose and we all know how hard it is to get those things out once they’re in there. – Mark Hobson – The Landscapist

I would love to hear from my readers to get your thoughts on this topic. What do you think? Can a photographer or any artist truly grow creatively if they are just following the masses?

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5 comments on “Lead, follow or…”

  1. That’s a tough question, that I don’t know if I have an answer to. I keep answering it in my head with another question, “Can an artist or photographer truly grow creatively without inspiration from others?” Perhaps. Perhaps that inspiration comes from other places, not other artists. That may be more true for photographers than artists of other mediums. But I know that I personally draw alot of inspiration from other artists. Do I try to do what they do? Sometimes, in an effort to diversify my style, aesthetic, practice, technique. Does that translate into growth of my own vision? I think so. And I think that new ideas, styles, aesthetics, techniques are born out of that practice.

  2. That’s a tough question, that I don’t know if I have an answer to. I keep answering it in my head with another question, “Can an artist or photographer truly grow creatively without inspiration from others?” Perhaps. Perhaps that inspiration comes from other places, not other artists. That may be more true for photographers than artists of other mediums. But I know that I personally draw alot of inspiration from other artists. Do I try to do what they do? Sometimes, in an effort to diversify my style, aesthetic, practice, technique. Does that translate into growth of my own vision? I think so. And I think that new ideas, styles, aesthetics, techniques are born out of that practice.

  3. What could be called obsession, or even “sameness” could easily also be called style. We recognize the work of great artists not because all their works are ridiculously different from each other, but rather, from what seems to be a familiar approach or manner, sort of like handwriting. Influences are going to happen but if you find the subject matter and apply yourself to it, your own style will begin to emerge. It doesn’t matter at that point if anyone thinks it looks familiar , you are doing what you do and that is the best you can expect of yourself.

  4. I love this pic…it says so much. I find signs to be active targets because they tell a story. This sign tells several. When I see something like this my mind starts thinking about the people who frequent it, where they come from and their stories. This is a great pic! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for the comment PredJoe. Yeah, I think part of the reason I am drawn to taking photos of these old signs is for the story that they tell. I feel that I need to capture them before they no longer exist and no longer get to tell that story.


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