Enlightenment, Mastery, Growth, Punishment
A couple of recent threads have got me thinking about these issues -- specifically in terms of the motivations for my own photography. My mind has been repeatedly looping over the issues of desire for certainty versus uncertainty, such as in "correct" exposure and such versus finding new, ever-more-perceptive pictures. Brooding on questions about significance of the enterprise and an interest in my own growth not only as a photographer, but: through observation of the world (and other people's photos, perhaps), growth as a person. Pondering about how each person has a different balance of these desires, a balance that underlies the work and guides every decision (photographically -- but otherwise too).
Most important to me just now have been questions about growth, about self-assessment against where I was a year ago, five years, twenty. In which ways have I gotten better, in which ways have I slipped instead? Do the course of my improvements align with my aspirations, with my circumstance, my personality? How does this manifest itself in the pictures? Is a predictable outcome more important, or a well-received one, or a personal sense of resonance regardless of external acceptance? Can these feelings be focused toward action? Which parts are ends, which ones beginnings? Are the best pictures ahead or behind, and why? How can I steer that?
Okay, it's late at night, I may be rambling -- but do others find themselves similarly plagued?
In what ways do you feel you are a better (or different) photographer than you were one year ago (or ten)? Is it deliberate, conscious, or just what happens subconsciously? How do you feel about the change, if any?