I think everyone has some artistic capabilities - they just don't manifest themselves very often.
I think everyone is born with artistic capability but it's something that needs to be cultivated in order to grow into something bigger. Unfortunately many people either a. are not in the correct environment to hone that skill or b. fall into that trap of "oh i suck, time to quit."
With that said, it seems like you're struggling to find inspiration because where you live and what you see isn't what you want to photograph correct? I can understand this to a degree because I will see compelling images from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, etc and I will want to go there to photograph in a similar style. But then a voice in the back of my head says "no, those are THEIR photographs. Not yours."
Then I realize that drawing inspiration from the work of other photographers is definitely a good thing, but trying to duplicate is not really the best method to cultivate artistic creativity. My advice would be to not look at other artists work and think "that's what I want to shoot," because when you go out you will only look for similar scenes. Keep an open mind and shoot lots of different things, you never know when the next photograph is going to drastically change your style and preference. And that's something you may have missed with your previous (for a lack of a better term) tunnel vision.
Go out and shoot! The world is an amazing place :)
I don't know, guys. Maybe it's because I come from a music background (where it is sometimes a little more obvious when someone just doesn't "have it" no matter how much analysis, practice and effort they put it), but while it is perhaps slightly too strongly worded to say not everyone is an artist, it's not far off. Certainly we can at least apply it to individual branches - ie not everyone is a photographer. Someone might love photography, but ultimately not be much of a photographer no matter how hard he/she bangs his/her head against the wall (or doesn't).
In the end a very small proportion of people practicing art are great artists. When someone tries to be way overly analytical about why it isn't working, trying to figure out how to discover his artistic subject, voice etc, some additional - even tougher - questions may be in order. We need to ask ourselves what our goals are. Do I have the talent to truly take this as far as I want it to go? Or should I just try to enjoy it as a hobby, do the best I can, maybe reassess at some point, but enjoy it.
Being an artist and a craftsman is hard work regardless of how much talent or vision someone has, but the hard work will take different people to different levels (as it does in music, athletics etc). So with all due respect I find it pretty simplistic when people suggest the answers to the creative problem expressed here lie with using less equipment, looking at less art, freeing yourself etc.
This will likely offend and piss off a lot of people, but that's art.
Even if it's only true for the other guy...
Personally, I'd be quite happy if I only ever had a small following - so long as they have taste! :)
Some creative types simply don't have taste, visual taste, and are ignorant or disinterested in the work of others and the broader arts. They might have the 'urge to create', they might be productive, but I think everyone agrees that's not enough. You can make a prediction about potential here I think, mostly based on that personality type - the comfort they find in simple productivity and validation - it really is like a child with crayons. I won't mention her name, but there is a popular photographer on Flickr, whose work still has the same tremendous following, but hasn't matured at all in the 4 years since I left that website. It's quite odd really, considering she clearly did have a natural artistic soul and showed promise to begin with. It's also strange to recognise that I loved a few photographers on Flickr when I started out, but now see much of it as naive, visually illiterate even, as my tastes and knowledge of the art have developed. Some people clearly don't move beyond 'the Flickr stage', shall we call it. They will never be serious photographic artists.
I'll say that I've had encouragement from talented artists, but I still think "what do they know?". Because they've only seen what I've done, rather than what I *think* I'm capable of! I won't say that mentality separates the creatives from the artists, but I am surprised how many don't harbour that need to keep pushing to new heights. But desperation can set in when the summit is always obscured by fog, and sometimes you have no choice but to set up camp for a while! That's where I'm at. The clear headed comments here have helped me recognise this. I'll probably head back to basecamp if it doesn't clear, but I'll say I have seen glimpses, which is why I keep going.
Please watch this to understand.
(and oh, it's Yosemite in the video too! Quite aptly :laugh:)
When you watch the American Idol top ten, you can already pick out the top three, because everyone else looks like a chump by comparison. Sad, but true.
Back in college, I studied classical guitar and briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a music major. But a quick glance at my classmates and an honest, sober assessment of my skills told me this was not to be. Could I have been as good a player as them? Maybe. (One of them now has seven records and regularly plays at Carnegie Hall). Did I have the love and willpower to work as hard as it would take? Probably not. I could impress people who knew little about classical guitar, but not anyone who had more than a passing familiarity with the instrument.
As Dr. Evil would say: Just one calorie, not evil enough.
Not everyone can be Mozart, Bach, or Chopin. For every one of them there are countless millions of others who will be forgotten. Sad, but true. We shouldn't kid ourselves.
Why not do a photo essay where you can combine both photos and text into a story book. Pick a subject that has deep meaning to your soul and let go.Quote:
Molli...I switched from writing to photography and I just don't feel it in the same way at all. I'm not making any connections whatsoever. I went from a very intimate, very raw medium to one that feels sterile by comparison. So, yes, any help in getting my head out of the way and my heart into the game is appreciated tremendously.