Suffering for the Sake of Creativity

I just read the following in the “Daybooks of Edward Weston”

Wednesday, June 8, 1927

I have to show my prints so often that I detest every one of them. I suppose this is all right if I am forced by my reactions to create new.

I think this is so powerful, but I would like to make one small change to fit my own purpose:

I look at my prints so often that I detest every one of them. I suppose this is all right if I am forced by my reactions to create new.

Each time I look at my old prints I find fault and frequently question how I could have been so excited when I created it. There isn’t a single print I have ever made where I didn’t think I could have done better. Case in point, I created an image from my recent trip to Great Smokey Mountains National Park of a beautiful light molding a valley. It was a beautiful vista and I fell in love with the moment. A storm had just passed by and the clouds were starting to lift, allowing sunlight to stream through. It was truly magical, but I wasn’t able to fully capture the moment in the first image I created.

Smoky26

I lived with it for a couple of weeks, disliking it the more I looked at it. I wanted to be back in the moment and although my mind and imagination often ventured there, the image I created seemed far from the experience of the moment. I made another attempt and the torture commences once again….

Smoky26a

 

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1 comment

  1. Same thing here, although I have a slightly different take. I am a fiddler. Every time I open an image file (well NOT every time, but a lot) I want to tweak something. There are few of what I consider to be my good images that have not been . . . improved (?), in some way. Sometimes many times. I don’t consider this a bad thing, though. Just the opposite. It shows, I think, that I have not yet stagnated, that there is still room for growth and that my vision and technical prowess (and tastes?) are being refined, thus my desire to rework older photos to better match who I am now.

    And if I care, then I still have something left to offer.

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