Friday, November 4, 2016
To Each Their Own and a Xylophone
I grew up, as many of us did, admiring large framed nature photographs displayed on walls - beautiful images of mountains illuminated by beams of pink and purple gleaming down from above, or of a babbling brook, white as a cloud, floating along a forest floor. As I came of age, from my early teens through my twenties, I tried to emulate these photos, trying to capture the lush color and sweeping landscapes that had so long garnered my attention.
Then at one point, I stopped trying. Not because I didn't think I could achieve what I had seen in those photos and not because I didn't like photographing nature, but because I realized that I'm a much better photographer with a live and animated subject in my frame. I had spent so long trying to recreate something that others had done that I lost my direction as to what I really wanted to create for myself.
We are all artists. Some of us use a sketch pad and a pencil, some a saxophone, and some a camera. But within each type of these arts there are sub-genres. What a xylophone is to a gospel choir, landscape photography is to a headshot, each variations of a similar art with far reaching differences - alike, but nowhere near the same. It was hard to learn that I was much better at one type of photography than another. But once I learned what I liked, I never looked back. I've found that it's easy to marvel at others art but much harder to embrace your own.
So it's not that I don't admire the mountains... I just don't photograph them anymore.