ARAT – Another Rock – Another Tree
Should I quit? That was the question.
If landscape photographers get to this stage in their respective journey, they will be faced with an answer.
Sometimes the answer will be avoidance. The lure of the next photograph will drag them back into ARAT’s hold.
Sometimes the answer is to quit, even though it may be temporary. The thought process is that the world as a whole really does not need photography.
For a few, the next step will be the most important.
The creative process will take over and a new exploration into photography will begin,
where ARAT and ART will collide.
The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
How I’m Breaking the ARAT Habit
As I enter this ART stage, I am being challenged to question my initial reason for photographing a subject.
Now instead of just sitting up the tripod and composing a beautiful photograph, I ask questions:
- If it is a waterfall, how can I add an emotional connection to it?
- If it is a tree, how can I make it more than just a tree?
- If it is a sunset, what do I want to communicate to the viewer?
- If it is a stream, how do I compose a scene that is not like the thousands of others that you view?
These are all good questions, but
they can sometimes only be answered “in the field”.
Each scene presents its own set of challenges and situations that offer different variations that can be explored. This process takes more time and requires multiple shots to discover what creative vision you can bring to the place.
For me personally, the act of stripping color away has allowed me to focus on emotional connection.
Take several seconds and observe the photo below:
This photograph above is a recent example of going beyond the straightforward sunset photo and adding additional meaning.
The intention of converting the image to black and white was to make the eye focus on the tree-line. It reminded me of seismic waves created from a seismometer, which measures the motion of the ground. The sun creates a disturbance in this reading, representing the convergence of earthly movement and celestial movement.
I may or may not have been able to communicate this meaning to the viewer, but as a budding ART Photographer it in fact does not matter.
What does matter is the ATTEMPT of giving meaning to a scene.
The more one explores the scene and tries different angles the more your mind will work on creating photographs that strikes emotional cords and can lead the viewer to find a deeper meaning in your photography.
I do not expect to achieve deeper meaning in every photograph, but I do expect to continue down a road that will open up more possibilities and lead to longer viewing of a body of work.
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