So I had a vision of what I wanted to create. But I had absolutely no idea of how to create it. Kind of like a person who would like to have a house and they can see it in their mind, but now you have to make it a reality. Now my vision was not to create a specific image but rather images with a specific look and feel. I come from a time before there was such a thing as Adobe Photoshop. I came from a time where images were painted, drawn or created by some manual hand crafted means. Or it was a photograph and that could also mean that the photo was in some way altered to make it appear as a piece of art work or illustration of sorts. Going back to man’s beginning he was scratching images on the walls of the caves where he dwelled. So for the most part images were created by hand, until we entered the universe of Photoshop.
So my vision was not anything new, in fact I had seen many variations of images that fall somewhere between a photograph and for lack of a better word an illustration. They have depth and they have feel and it is beyond anything you can get from a photograph, now I know some people reading this will not get what I’m talking about and may have lost interest by now and that is fine. But here again I come from a day and time where those of us who were/are music lovers would lay our money down to purchase a record album of our favorite band or recording artist and incorporated in this purchase was some sort of artwork, illustration or a photograph that would most times be creative and in-depth. If it was real good it would be something that could draw you in and make you wonder… wonder about what? Well like they say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” so too is artwork. Why if just a plain old photograph of a person looking out at the sea is composed correctly and the wardrobe, lighting and setting of the image are creative it could draw the viewer in and make you want to ask questions; Who is that person? Where is this place? Why are they wearing those clothes? Ect… I will be so cliché as to say “a picture is worth a thousand words” (you knew that was coming didn’t you). And if the image has no real creativity it can still be a very nice photograph and it could mean a lot to the person who captured it, but without creativity it is nothing more than a mere snapshot to the rest of the world.
So now cut to, here I am, I have entered in to photography and I moved through my days of mastering a point & shoot camera and progressed to a DSLR. Like most people who have progressed in photography I started to learn how to compose and then learned how to edit and that is when it started to happen. I just became bored with images and I wanted to create. And of course I did not know at the time that most great photographers were/are musicians. Yes I too played guitar and wrote music for many years before I came to photography. So I guess it comes from that urge to be creative or dare I say “to be an artist” that gives me the want & desire to take a photograph and move it to a creative level. Ok so back to my vision. Yes I knew what Photoshop was or so I thought. And please know when I use the word Photoshop I am referring to Adobe Photoshop and not using it a generic term as 90% of people do. I am actually talking about a specific software program. So yes I thought I knew what it was and then I find out nobody really know what it is. And what I mean by that is I don’t think there is any one person who can sit down and say “I know all that there is to know about Adobe Photoshop.” It is more of a universe of sorts that has many entry points and endless exits to a finished piece of work. For those who have never used it and maybe never will, it is hard to begin to even explain the diversity of the program other than as I have stated it is like a universe.
So unbeknownst to me I think I will just sit down and “learn Photoshop.” Boy did I miss the mark on that. So I soon learn that I have a lot to learn and I will never learn it all. Then I learn that I have a whole lot more to learn about photography then just learning how to shoot in manual mode on the camera. See for most photographers the Holy Grail is to be able to walk into any situation, shoot and capture great images and the whole time have the camera in the manual mode. Meaning “you” control all camera settings and you are now… yeah what the hell are you now? Your somewhere between a techno geek and Wiley Coyote (super genius). What I’m trying to say here is “the images I wanted to create had a whole lot more to them than just learning the setting on a camera and a whole lot more than learning how to edit a photo in Adobe Photoshop.” First off my images needed to have people and places in them. People… omg that means I need to find models. So let’s stop here and breakdown what the hell it is I’m trying to do and what I have to learn to achieve it. I need to learn how to master a DSLR camera, I need to learn a great deal of Photoshop; I need to learn how to shoot and work with models and I need to buy equipment and gear. So when you zoom out and look at the “whole picture” (pardon the pun) I equate it to crash landing a plane in the Himalayan mountains and looking around and saying “ok how do I get out of here?” Well… the answer is very simple “one step at a time and very carefully” and while most answers in life are just that simple, the task its self is rather daunting or I guess I should be realistic and say “overwhelming.”
So there I go one step at a time… I work at mastering the camera, many days and even till this day I sometimes look at that piece of overpriced electronic gadget and think why? Why doesn’t somebody just take it and hit me in the head with it. I shouldn’t even be allowed to own it, because I suck as a photographer and then there are good days. It’s the ole “some days are diamonds, some days are stones.” Then there is Photoshop all the countless hours of book reading, sitting through online classes and traveling and attending seminars. Then models… you mean I have to interact with people? And for what? One voice in my head saying to the other voice “why can’t he just be a Landscape photographer.”
So “are we there yet?” No, but I’m getting closer. I’m on the road to where I want to be as a photographer/artist but it is as if where I want to be is on the other side of the hill or around the next turn and I just can’t see it… yet. I know it’s there but I just have to travel further. Sad part is… once I arrive, how long will I want to stay before I journey on. And I must say it has been a journey. I spent the past several months shooting with models, dealing with hair and makeup artists and clothing designers. The whole process was a learning experience to say the least, but is has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I have met people and gone to place and been put in situations that I never dreamed would have happened to me. I have met some of the most amazing and creative people. I have heard their dreams and visions of what they would like to accomplish with their talents and I have felt the feeling of being amongst what I call “greatness.” What I mean by that is I would equate it to someone being in the company of a person who you know is going to accomplish amazing things in their lifetime. I can’t explain it and I’m not trying to get all like “I have ESP or something” but sometimes when you see what a person is all about and you’re around them and they have an amazing amount of natural talent it puts off a vibe and you feel it for sure.
So the journey continues…