Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I just finished reading a really great book called "The Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing" by Philippe L. Gross and S.I. Shapiro which I found to be very refreshing and inspiring.
After spending several years shooting with magazine publishing in mind, I had reached a point where my images were too formulaic . I found myself shooting each image with a place for copy to drop in and catering my direction towards what a given editor might like. Of course, this isn't a bad thing if your goal is to just get published but I had lost some of the feeling of wonder towards my overriding subject matter –the natural world. I longed to regain some of the magic in my photography and my photo outings.
For me, one of the key pieces of advice in the book concerns letting go of the practice of placing parameters on what kind of images you want to shoot (style, not necessarily subject matter) and instead gravitate towards what moves you most. It explores the idea that in order to be receptive to what nature/life presents you daily, you have to let go of the reins a bit. This is where the "Tao" part comes in.
Although this all seems quite simple, perhaps, it has been very rejuvenating to me and I have regained zeal as a result of reading this text. If you are stuck in a creative rut try this book out. There is no such thing as a miracle cure but this certainly helps.