What are your influences?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by jos__miguel_ferreira, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. What are your artistic or spiritual influences other than your
    favorite photographers?
    Music? Paintings? Architecture? Philosophy? Nature? Literature?

    Do photographers experience "creativity blocks" like in many other
    mediums? How do they "snap" out of them?

    Just curious...

    JMF
     
  2. When I suffer from creative blocks, I usually take a day off and go street shooting. By
    doing street photography, it relaxes me. It open my eyes to the surroundings and I
    start picking up ideas. Ideas such as location for a shoot, expression of a subject,
    framing of an image, and type of subject to shoot. Eventually, as I spend more time
    doing this, the more ideas I come up with. Than I go back and work out those ideas.
    When the ideas eventually runs out , I would than go back to the streets again but a
    different location and start all over again. That usually does it for me along with
    some sample works of photographers that I like...Dan Winters, Timothy White,
    Andrew Eccles, Avedon, etc....

    Danny
    www.dannyliao.com
     
  3. Keith Laban Photography
    Strangely enough I’ve never been particularly inspired by photography or photographers. The work of several artists including Victor Pasmore, Antonio Tapies and Mark Rothko has directly and indirectly influenced both my painting and photography as has my love of the vernacular architecture of the Mediterranean.
    Whenever I’m “blocked” using one medium I use another.
     
  4. Jose wrote
    What are your artistic or spiritual influences other than your favorite photographers? Music? Paintings? Architecture? Philosophy? Nature? Literature? Do photographers experience "creativity blocks" like in many other mediums? How do they "snap" out of them?
    I'm not a bible thumper and with that in mind, Jesus is my only spiritual influence. This, I must confess, has a limiting nature but one that I can easily live with.
    As to the arts, I have no influences I can claim other then what I see contemporarily, has convinced me more and more of what I don't want to do or be like. That's not to say that there aren't any photographers or other art styles and artists whose efforts I enjoy but it's to say that although I do like their efforts, their effort don't consciencely influence what it is I currently do. One never knows about the sub-conscience. :) The fact it's sub-conscience, means one doesn't know about it in advance. :)
    As to getting past a block, that's up to you and how much effort you're willing to put forth to get past it. I don't know if "block" is an accurate description. In my case, it's not a block but a frustration in either my efforts to define myself or an unhappiness with what it is I'm currently doing. I'm constantly trying to push myself to the next level or a new level of uniqueness or increase/improve viewer impact.
    In order to do so, one has to come to grips with themselves, get away from the influences of others and leave the hateful critics behind in order to allow themselves to truly blossom. Learn to seperate valid criticism from venemous, discouraging, hateful behavior. This is not to say that you don't pick up books to learn about advanced techniques or explore with others, "How to." techniques to expand your expertise and capabilities. It also doesn't mean to ignore what others around you have to say but you do have to filter what people have to say so as to create a photographic world that works for you and what it is that you're wanting to say.
    For me, to move forward in my efforts requires continually asking myself questions and waiting until answers issue forth. Until this happens, there's no need to even pick up a camera. Why? What I'm wanting doesn't come from the camera or the act of capturing an image by tripping the shutter but progress comes from the unhearlded interior of the mind. The gray matter is where it all, for me, comes from; no where else.
    I've been hammering on my mind since my last outing, on the seventh of March for some answers. I came up with some wonderful images on that last outing but there were some points about the images that I couldn't quite lay my mental finger on. They were some of my best efforts. Try as I may, there were no answers to answer the mental knock at the door that I kept hearing. Over the last couple of days, I finally came out of the malaise the success of the last outings efforts created and started working on the questions that had come about from that outing. Today the answer finally came.
    Even though the images were captured, over a month ago, they hadn't been printed. Today, I started printing them. Why? Because they make sense to me now; where as a month ago, they made sense only to my sub-conscience. :) For the mental efforts of the last five weeks, I have come up with two new ideas to work with and answered a nagging question that has nagged me for quite a few months. One of the ideas is not unique and the other is probably not unique. Either which way, I have a couple of new directions to work with and a better understanding of what it is that I want to do.
    The short of my above, to me, it all comes from inside you and how much effort you're willing to put forth to improve your understanding of yourself. Everything else follows. Now that I've answered the knock that has been perplexing me over these last five weeks, I can have the print secession that I've not been able to have and I'll be able to again pick up the sensor body and "sally forth" into the next unknown beyond.
    Hope my above is found both insightful and helpful.
     
  5. Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt,
    Robert Johnson, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Charles Bukowski,
    e.e. cummings, Kurt Vonnegut, Bertrand Russell, Lao Tsu,
    Herman Hesse, Elmore Leonard, and the hundreds of people I
    meet every year.

    To get past a block, I do a combination of taking some time off,
    trying something different, and simply forcing myself to shoot
    through it.
     
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I put this together a while back.
     
  7. Beïng influenced by someone can be of great importance but at the same time it could be like an excuse that's holding you back for not revealing the true nature of oneself but rather the nature of the one you look up too. But that beïng said, the one's that I feel I'm influenced by(or at least want to be influenced by) have a mystic reality about them that (for me) can not be looked over. They can be (and should be)Edward Weston, Atget, Ralph Gibson, Duane Michals,with others to follow, and in the non-photography world: Frank Zappa, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Bruce Lee(the King,and the one and only...), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ween, The Doors,...What they all share? They speak truth at some level or another, and while that may sound cheap for someone else, it certainly works for me...
     
  8. Spiritual. I've thought about this and come to the conclusion that when photographs naked people, there is dimension to it which is spiritual/philosophical/political. Ideas that link into this are.
    1. Every individual has value and deserves respect. Even though we strugle to actually respect many people much of the time.
    2. The human body can be a thing of beauty. Aesthetic pleasure and erotic reaction work independently: you can get one without the other or both. You can ignore one in the process of making a picture and still find it is there in the result.
    3. It is a natural thing to appreciate the beauty of the world around us. The fact we see that beauty is supporting evidence for the existence of a benign creator (whatever ones religious beleifs may be). But there is a tension between enjoying the beauty of the body, and respecting the person inside it. There is also a tension between being a faithful husband and enjoying the beauty of women in general. These tensions are a key part of the creative process.
    My other photography doesn't have any complex motivations behind it. I do sometimes want to preserve the memory of something but usually it's simply because I think it makes a good picture. A lot of it is "things people have built", I'm not interested in shooting "People doing things" or "natural landscape" although I like some pictures in these categories. It's becoming fashionable to knock Ansel Adams, but I admire his work enormously, but I can't point to anything in any picture of mine which has been influenced by him. I think I absorb tiny influences from every picture I've ever seen, so it is quite difficult to identify an influence. I've taken ideas from David Hockney (joiner photographs), and there are 4 or 5 pictures I have made starting with the idea of copying something else. But that is not the same thing - that is taking someone else's idea for a walk ...
    Poetry and song lyrics do have an influence. I created a cover for the book "venus in furs" because I had been listening to the Velvet Underground song of the same name. Generally it's be a line or even a single phrase. "Pieces and Parts" was one; I've been wanting to do something round "I was staring at the face of rage" for a while. After I took this picture I got the lines "The bed lays now cold and empty as a casket, your body left it's shape upon the sheets and little else." And they've been in my head when I repeated that shot.
    Yes we get creativity blocks. I had one that lasted for about 5-6 years. We don't know why they come or why they go.
     
  9. Music: I like to listen to Techno at my darkroom and dream of next pictures at the Discotheque. Bosses and petitioners are useful against blocks; at least they make you touch some camera again, the rest usually develops itself automatically.
     
  10. Jeff wrote
    I put this together...
    Based upon your "put this together" efforts, is it safe to say that you've abandoned the "West Coast School of Grand Landscapes"??? :)
     
  11. To get past a block, I grab one of my Holgas, forget about exposure and technical issues and just try and capture a "feeling" rather that a technically perfect photo.

    And as others have said, try something new. Currently I'm experimenting with pinhole photography and alternative processes. There is so much to learn about different types of photographic techniques, and a new film format or printing process can help a person look at the world in a slightly different way.
     
  12. jbs

    jbs

    Jeff....;)...J
     
  13. My main influence is my tight budget.......that means with film, the shots are planned, the film developing has to take place quickly, the trips are made early in the morning or late in the evening..with digital the same still applies, now the overhead is the fuel burn of the truck, the cost of meals. I don't allow my photography style to be influenced by spirituality. While there might be a concept in my images, I wouldn't call it artistic...As a matter of fact, I consider those who insist of labeling themselves as artists, egocentric / insecure...I am a taker of photographs, and nothing more. I have no specific favorite photographer or artist although some rise to the top once in a while, to be rapidly toppled.
     
  14. John wrote
    I consider those who insist of labeling themselves as artists, egocentric / insecure...I am a taker of photographs, and nothing more.
    Well that's a bit narrow minded. Why? Because there are those that just take snapshots. Then there are "Photographers" who make their living at photography. Also, you'll find there are some, who just take pictures and nothing more. But, there are also some, who are none of the above as they're artists who create images for others and that's their purpose in life. It's okay if you don't want to call yourself an artist. :)
     
  15. Degas, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Edward Hopper. Look to your favorite painters for inspiration. I stood before a canvas for twenty years before ever taking up a camera, I feel this is an advantage to my compositional eye.
     
  16. Keith Laban Photography
    “As a matter of fact, I consider those who insist of labeling themselves as artists, egocentric / insecure”
    John, “artist” is a job description, not a judgement. I know many artists, some are very good and some are not so good but all are artists.
     
  17. No offense meant with that posting..I know a lot of artists too, but wanted to make a point that's a bit tangent to the thread, sorry..The need to have a title is of importance to some...As for the noted painters, yes they are artists, because of their noteworthy products of beauty or difference or originality. I consider the word artist a statement of rating a person's competence or skill that makes him or her stand out from the norm. To be an artist, my viewpoint is that the rating has to come from others besides yourself. OK, there's nothing wrong with rating yourself highly...but when you get called "on the carpet" things could get difficult...however, the other aspect is that even if one is NOT an artist, photography can still be a lot of fun. I would say what influences and inspires me aside from the budget is the luxury of having nice weather most of the year...and living in a part of the world that is rich in color..No wonder Ansel liked this part of the country...
     
  18. Sorry but "Artist" is not a title, it's a descriptive word which describes a persons efforts.
    Definition of artist
    Hope the above helps.
     
  19. "partially my point exactly"...and you are right, is is NOT a title, but some folks seem to think that it is...I consider it a rating of creativity and outstanding competency...The link is interesting as a defintion..but..I would like to take it a step further as I attempted above...for example a painter paints pictures, but an artist creates art through the medium he or she uses. So..a "bad artist" in my viewpoint, is NOT an artist but a painter, albeit a bad one..he or she isn't quite making the "grade" for transition to the level of artist...Simply making the effort to be an artist doesn't make the grade...Or to return to the thread, I would assume that an uplifting experience of GOOD art could be inspirational to some to go out and wildly photograph art....Perhaps this is the reason why we see so many images of European church interiors on photo.net....Now to stay on the thread, certainly once in a while I might have a creativity block, but I would define it more as a need to take a pause and perhaps search around for a different subject set, an attempt for different lighting, getting bored with the good weather..or looking at just plain bad pictures I took and realizing that I need to reshoot them with a different approach.
     
  20. OHH what a question ...!:eek:)<p> we are all living under influence (culture, background education, friend, money, ...) and I believe once you escape the warm mother's nest we all become artists in a sense: either actors or funambulists, some take risks some refuse...
    <p> and photography is probably the way of expressing yourself which the free-est in term of manual skill, just press the button... <p> so influences can be infinite in number, and artists you admire might not be necessary the artist that influence your picture style, and not only artists but books, moods, drinks, feelings, places eveything in life that can inspire you ... PLUS imagination... <p> uhhh ... what was the question ? ... ah yes ... among 'the very Classic' T.Williams, A. Camus, A.Moravia, D.Buzzati, T.Mann, C.Levi-Strauss, C.Baudelaire, J.Prevert, R.Murakami, L.Visconti, Y.Ozu, T.Mahler, JS.Bach, P.Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Queen, Hooverphonic, Chet Baker, M.Davis, T.Waits, Portishead, Sheena Ringo, Magnum's R.Capa, W.Bishof and others, P.Strand, E.Hopper, G. De Chirico, Sir E.Shackleton and Sir A.C.Doyle, ..... and people I know, and so many others ... <p>and also ... a Serie 4D Robusto with a Rusty Nail, a ray of sun passing through venitian curtain, the softness of a woman skin in the darkness, a child eyes when listening a tale story, the subtle noise of stockings when crossing legs, and old map on the wall, the start of a long trip ... <p> but also what inspire me is not necessarily what I like... it can be the poorness of the world, the stupidity and obscurantism of some people, the darkness of a soul, the lightness of my sleep,...and the end of the road...
     
  21. Keith Laban Photography
    John Thomas (no pun intended. Well OK, perhaps I could have put a comma in there so forget it, pun intended).
    Artists invariably use the word "artist" as their job description. I don't know any artists who use "artist" as a judgement on their skills. It is my observation that those who are not artists in any sense of the word are the more likely to have a problem with the words art and artist.
     
  22. Perhaps I should explain that "John Thomas" is slang here in the UK for penis, not sure if it translates well to those across the pond ;-)
     
  23. Thomas
    "Artist"
    " An artist is someone who employs creative talent to produce works of art"

    Exactly what I'm saying.....a job description
     
  24. Keith wrote
    "Artist"
    " An artist is someone who employs creative talent to produce works of art"
    Exactly what I'm saying.....a job description

    No it's not! One can produce "works of art" and not make a living at it. I swanny! I'm through the G. D. looking glass here as many have obviously lost their minds. You're doing nothing except parsing words for your personal convenience.
    One can be an artist as a job description; a "working artist" or one can be an artist as in a casual past time; "hobbiest". This is where the line from "Forest Gump" comes to play; "Stupid is as stupid does."
    Why have dictionaries as it seems some like to rewrite the meaning of certain words because it serves their purpose. We can all waste our time sitting around the conversational table, while we parse words long enough until we can come to a mutual agreement on what we "might" be saying. Then when called to task on what we said, we can do the political side step by saying; "That's not what I was saying." Very "Clintonesk".
    The word "artist" has a clear cut and well defined meaning. The meaning of the word is not enigmatic. And your attempts to parse the meaning of the word isn't gonna play with this old city boy! Find someone else to run your game on.
     
  25. Artist ... a life description ... don't you think?!<p> :eek:]
     
  26. Thomas, "it is my observation that those who are not artists in any sense of the word are the more likely to have a problem with the words art and artist".
     
  27. Keith wrote
    Thomas, "it is my observation that those who are not artists in any sense of the word are the more likely to have a problem with the words art and artist".
    Okay, you have trouble with the sense of the word but that's no reason to put yourself down.
     
  28. Thomas, I can understand and accept that you don't define the word "artist" in the same way as I do, but please enlighten me, how am I putting myself down?
     
  29. Just a quick aside: parse and define do not have the same meaning and should not be used interchangeably. I only mention it because of the irony involved.
     
  30. Mike, I thought perhaps Thomas was accusing me of arsing around with words but kept hitting the p key in error.
     
  31. Music. Off the top of my head: The Jim Yoshii Pile-up, Red Stars Theory, Calla, Portastatic...probably other stuff too.


    Family.

    i snap out of creativity blocks by turning on music, driving to a place I've photographed before, and forcing myself to find something new that i've never seen before.
     
  32. Mike wrote
    Just a quick aside: parse and define do not have the same meaning and should not be used interchangeably. I only mention it because of the irony involved.
    The terms, by me, are not being used interchangably. What is happening is someone, not myself, is parsing the definition of "artist" to serve their personal purpose. The term "parse" is being used by it's dictionary meaning; to break a phrase, definition or sentence up into it's smaller component part as in the phrase "parsing of words.".
    Definition of "Parse".
    When one, not referring to you Mike, intentionally parses a definition for personal gain and leaves the whole or completeness of a definition out of the statement, then context is purposefully being left out for the singular purpose of convenience to support their point of view. I will reserve comment on what I think about this sort of behavior. :)
     
  33. " An artist is someone who employs creative talent to produce works of art"<p> A definition that can apply to anybody on earth, as appreciation of art and talent are extremely subjective and can lead to never-ending discussion ... like this one precisely. I find some people working in finance, active in politics, living life a certain way, plain 'artist'... I also find some people putting 'artist' on the top of their resume or in the tax payer declaration just full of plain air
     
  34. Life. 99% life. 1% music :)...okay, more like 90% life and 10% music (but I was a professional musician, so wha'dya expect ;)). I think the same influences that created my music are the main inflences in my photography. Whatever creates emotional stirrings (somewhat mystical in all honesty...I do occasionally think about it, but never quite figure it out...and that is fine with me).

    Basically, I'll shoot anything I find a connection to. Nudes, abandoned buildings, flowers...sometimes I DO stage still life shots to express an idea (and on rare occasions, someone understands them).

    I don't experience creativity blocks in photography. I used to in music. I DO experience a week or two where I just don't feel like shooting, but if I had something scheduled, there is never a creativity block (maybe because I have so much to learn and so far to go to get where I wanna be :D).
     
  35. Jeez, the quibbling here about semantics and dictionary definitions is funny. Strange that people get so wrapped around the details that they miss the entire picture. Language is probably one of the reasons I take pictures. As one who speaks several languages, envariably the idea I want to express to the person with whom I'm talking is best expressed in a language other than the one we have in common (good 'ole Murphy and his Laws).

    In my experience, most artists don't spend a whole lot of time trying to define what they are and what they do (interesting mind candy, at best). However, the initial question of thinking about one's influences...THAT is worth a whole lotta beach sittin' :).
     
  36. When one considers influences, what they're really saying to me is, whom have you allowed to contaminate your view of life.

    Many decry my efforts but my efforts represent my views on life and how I see things. My images don't represent the eyes or mind of another individual. When you view my images, you see images that are made locally, not images from some far off exotic land of foreign familiarity which required the payment of thousands of dollars to visit. I don't have any outside influences with one singular exception as I've always taken my own counsel. The point, if you want original thinking, you're gonna find it by looking inside yourself, not by looking to others for the answers. If you want to get past a block, you're gonna have to learn be your own crutch:)

    Is it such a novel stretch of the imagination to expect one to look inside one's self for both guidance and inspiration?
     
  37. "Look deep inside; if it’s there this is where it is. The fleeting images of sleep, nightmares, dreams and daydreams, the unresolved thought and memory half forgotten, these are the clues: pay attention to them."
     
  38. Painting has become more of an influence in my work, ever since I started experimenting with digital editors and their associated special effects filters. Painters have the freedom of deemphasizing an area of an image by making the area out of focus or by reducing the area's level of detail so to produce results that compositionally work very well, but would seem totally unnatural in a "straight" photograph. The best example of this influence in my own work is in the image Mother and Son
     
  39. Thomas, you are assigning an idiosyncratic definition to the term
    "parse" (note that your usage is not supported by the link you
    provide). The irony just keeps piling up--you insist there is a
    clear-cut definition of artist, but you use a term (which indeed
    does have a clear-cut meaning and usage) in whatever fashion
    you choose.
     
  40. Mike

    And your response confirms why I feel like I've stepped through the looking glass. There was nothing idiosyncratic about the definition. It was vary plain and straight forward. If you don't like my choice, then post a counter definition that makes you happy.

    Either which way one can be an artist with or without making any money for the effort and one can be a photographer with or without the act of making any money. You can parse words all you want and it's okay.

    And to keep on thread, the above has nothing to do with photographer's block or how to snap out of it. :)
     
  41. Thomas, here are the ways you've used the term "parse:"
    No it's not! One can produce "works of art" and not make a living at it. I swanny! I'm through the G. D. looking glass here as many have obviously lost their minds. You're doing nothing except parsing words for your personal convenience.
    Why have dictionaries as it seems some like to rewrite the meaning of certain words because it serves their purpose. We can all waste our time sitting around the conversational table, while we parse words long enough until we can come to a mutual agreement on what we "might" be saying.
    The word "artist" has a clear cut and well defined meaning. The meaning of the word is not enigmatic. And your attempts to parse the meaning of the word isn't gonna play with this old city boy! Find someone else to run your game on.

    In the first two cases, you're using it to mean "define." In the last case, you're using it to mean "change" or "redefine."
    Consult the definition you have linked above, or the definitions listed here. I've done of lot of parsing of sentences both as a student and teacher of English, and I've even parsed a bit of basic computer code. I am very familiar with what it means to "parse." The way in which you employ the term is NOT a standard usage.
    And again, I'm only laboring this trivial point because of the great irony involved.
     
  42. “When one considers influences, what they're really saying to me is, whom have you allowed to contaminate your view of life.”
    I don't have any outside influences

    No disrespect but I find thess to be pretty strong statements. Seems to me that everything ever created in any art or profession has had some sort of influence. Artists, architects, musicians, scientists, chefs, photographers…are always trying to expand or draw from previous accomplishments whether their own or someone else’s. Even Picasso who in my eyes had one of the wildest imaginations drew his influences from African art. You gotta start with a seed before you can watch it grow.
     
  43. "Look deep inside; if it’s there this is where it is. The fleeting images of sleep, nightmares, dreams and daydreams, the unresolved thought and memory half forgotten, these are the clues: pay attention to them."
    Keith, your quote? I heard or read somewhere that David Lynch keeps a pad of paper next to his bed and notes visions in his dreams which he later uses in his films.
     
  44. Keith Laban Photography
    Ed, yes my quote. I originally penned it in response to a question by Thomas about "photographers block" and it was intended to summarise the often bizarre ideas and visualisations that I (and I hope others) have on the verge of consciousness, some of which have undoubtedly influenced my work.
    Thomas my friend, don’t be so defensive, I re-posted my "look deep inside…" response because I thought that it also had some relevance to this thread and to your own "I don’t have any outside influences…" response. We are all the product of our experiences and are all bound to be influenced, consciously or otherwise, but I tend to agree with you, the really valuable ideas do come from within.
     
  45. Ed wrote
    No disrespect but I find these to be pretty strong statements.
    The statement is not intended as bravado but it is intended to be a strong statement of encouragement in that the more you depend upon yourself, the more original your efforts are going to be. Whether or not your efforts will be seen as such by others, time will tell. But what's important is how you, personally, view your efforts.
    For clarification purposes, I'm speaking as an experienced person that has gone through the learning processes as opposed to one just starting out. But while going through the learning processes, I have consistently come up with the thought that I want to create images with my vision, not create images that reflect other's point of view. When I create images that reflect another's view point, I chatise myself for being so weak of mind that I don't consider my view point "good enough" for me.
    As to the likes of Picasso, many people, myself included don't appreciate his art. Although his art speaks to many, there are many that it doesn't speak to. Count me in the group who his art doesn't speak to. :)
    And yes, you're correct about the notables, their education processes, influences and how they got where they did. Much was dependent upon politics and sucking up to the power structure. But in the end, originality comes from within, not from without.
    I started out my formal training studying under a student of Ansel Adams and ate and lived the "Zone System". I termed my training being that of the "West Coast School of Grand Landscapes". :) You will see this reflected in my efforts but you won't see either Edward, Immogene or Ansel in my efforts, unless it's quite by accident. :) I, intentionally, have rejected much of what I was taught about composition as I don't like the intensity of the images so I've decentralized much of what I do. I have rejected B&W as I see and feel in color although I will work mono chromatically. I have rejected overly saturated images or intense colorations as the impact on my mind fatigues my mind's eye easily but I will work, on the occasion with a sunrise or sunset. I reject most of the psycho babble as to why images are created or for what purpose. Why this rejection? Because none of it reflects "my" view. :) Now I encourage others to look to themselves for inspirational answers when it comes to their art work.
    Hope the above helps.
     
  46. Thomas,
    “Hope the above helps.” It helps understand your thinking better and the only part I can agree with is how we personally view our own efforts.
    A few questions first to further help my understanding of your thoughts and ideas.
    “I'm speaking as an experienced person that has gone through the learning processes as opposed to one just starting out.”
    When, where and are you done with your education process?
    I want to create images with my vision, not create images that reflect other's point of view. When I create images that reflect another's view point…
    We all do…there’s a difference though between replicating someone else’s view and using someone’s work as an influence or as point of departure for our own journeys.
    As to the likes of Picasso, many people, myself included don't appreciate his art…
    Nobody has too, and it’s irrelevant who belongs to what group. You can insert any artist’s name in lieu of his, they are all influenced by someone or something else. He was just an example.
    Take a look at Duchamp’s Nude Descending the Stairs and how many countless paintings, sculptures, pieces of literature, poetry and music have been created using this painting as an influence.
    I also noticed you use the term “I reject” a lot….loosen up a bit. Too many rules always hinder creativity.
    In one of my first design studios we were given a painting (nude descending stairs, fittingly), a piece of literature (Calvino, I believe) and a piece of sculpture (can’t recall). From these three pieces we had to come up with a three-dimensional piece, a two dimensional piece and an essay respectively. Ultimately we combined the three pieces that we had created into one piece. I’ll tell you it was an f’ing blast and the stuff the students came up was very, very creative. Try it you'll like it.
    Anyways,
    Ed
     
  47. Ed wrote
    “I'm speaking as an experienced person that has gone through the learning processes as opposed to one just starting out.”
    When, where and are you done with your education process?
    I hate it when people do that. :) Of course, one will beat on their brain until the day they die, we all know that. :) The comment was ment in the sense that I have a fairly extensive background as opposed to a neophytes background. But as you correctly pointed out, try as we might, the learning process continues until we die. :)
    "I want to create images with my vision, not create images that reflect other's point of view. When I create images that reflect another's view point…"
    We all do…there’s a difference though between replicating someone else’s view and using someone’s work as an influence or as point of departure for our own journeys.
    Now where's the originality in that?
    "As to the likes of Picasso, many people, myself included don't appreciate his art…"
    Nobody has too, and it’s irrelevant who belongs to what group. You can insert any artist’s name in lieu of his, they are all influenced by someone or something else. He was just an example."
    And I have no qualms with your above. I encourage independent thought, not thought based upon what other's have done. It's a different way of thinking. Think about it before you reject it and then do with it what you will. :)
    Take a look at Duchamp’s Nude Descending the Stairs and how many countless paintings, sculptures, pieces of literature, poetry and music have been created using this painting as an influence.
    And I would hope that people's thinking would have moved forward and not continued to hang in the past. Duchamp would probably laugh if he realized that his effort had become iconic. Probably say something like, "Don't these poor dolts have any original thought?" "Or am I to believe that I've become the pinnacle to be climbed?"
    I also noticed you use the term “I reject” a lot….loosen up a bit. Too many rules always hinder creativity.
    No rules being rejected, just stereo types.:)
    I'd like to see more rejection going on as opposed to more influencing. :)
     
  48. Thomas, hmmm..all valid points you make.
    “Now where's the originality in that?”
    Everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinions and nevermind the same page we are not even in the same bookstore.
    Now you have piqued my interest, anyplace I can see some of this original uncontaminated work. Either by yourself or anyone else for that matter?
     
  49. Ed wrote
    Everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinions and nevermind the same page we are not even in the same bookstore.
    What? You still go to bookstores?!!! :)
    Now you have piqued my interest, anyplace I can see some of this original uncontaminated work. Either by yourself or anyone else for that matter?
    You're welcome to follow my name to some of my images and then you're welcome to come back and post for all the world to see how low you hold my images. But hold one thing in mind as you think what you will about my images, this is how I see the world and this is the view of the world I want the world to see.
     
  50. you're welcome to come back and post for all the world to see how low you hold my images
    There's a distinction you're choosing to ignore: people can say that your images are capable enough examples of what they are while disputing that they are anything original or free from influence. I see images that are competent but strikingly conventional--I see no evidence in your images (or those of many highly skilled, talented, and creative photographers) of bold originality devoid of influence. There's little to distinguish them from the sort of shots commonly seen in popular photography magazines.
     
  51. Slamming each other's pictures is not nice and not mature...But does show, that with a short prhase, Jose Miguel F. started an interesting thread...
     
  52. It's not really "slamming" pictures to point out that supposed examples of original work free from influence are hard to distinguish from thousands--millions!--of other images generally considered completely conventional. In a sense, it highlights that methods of overcomeing "creativity blocks" aren't restricted to changing the work itself--it's enough in some cases to just perceive the same work differently.

    This isn't simply a slam against Thomas. When I run into a block, much of it is a matter of my perceptions of my own work. Things I liked a couple of months before all look tired and uninteresting, and it's difficult to see things (potential images included) in a way I find appealing. After the block is resolved, those same images may again start looking better. It's important not to confuse that change in perception with an actual change in the work, though.
     
  53. What are your artistic or spiritual influences other than your favorite photographers? Music? Paintings? Architecture? Philosophy? Nature? Literature? Do photographers experience "creativity blocks" like in many other mediums? How do they "snap" out of them?​

    Try one question (or set of related questions) at a time.
     
  54. Mike wrote
    There's a distinction you're choosing to ignore: people can say that your images are capable enough examples of what they are while disputing that they are anything original or free from influence.
    Now, now. Nobody is ignoring anything. What I said was that I have no influences in art and that I'm rejecting much that I see around me. If there's someone who's done similar images before me, then God Bless them. There's also been about a bizillion people that have lived on earth before me. :)
    As many have commented, there are many influences which we have> And these influences, we'll never be able to shake. Among these non-artistic influences are, (no particular order and the list isn't a complete list), religion, culture (which can be broken into many sub-categories), family, general education, personal experiences, security/insecurity, vices of choice, hobbies, friends, location, weather, health, race, politics, economic stature, the drinking bar one might hang out in, ect., ect., ect. Notice none of these common influences have anything to do directly with art, which is what the original question was about. But nobody is saying that they're free of any or all influences.
    I see images that are competent but strikingly conventional--I see no evidence in your images (or those of many highly skilled, talented, and creative photographers) of bold originality devoid of influence. There's little to distinguish them from the sort of shots commonly seen in popular photography magazines.
    And I won't act surprised that one should see my images in this light. Why? I'm a "strikingly conventional" guy. :) As to originality, there's only so much that can be done with straight photography today, considering the millions of individuals that are running about on a daily basis, capturing images with every sunrise and sunset. I read somewhere that Canon was going to jack their 300D sensor body production up from 70k units a month to 100k units a month. That's a lot of photographers posting images with their new 300D.
    As many have said, how can one make a sunrise original after millions and millions of photographers have taken billions of sunset or sunrise shots, from thousands and thousands of places around the world? "Now here's a sunset shot with "Eifel's Tower" in the forground." click! "Now here's a shot of the same setting sun, on the same day but this time is has "-----------" (put landmark/location in the blank) for a foreground." :) Yep, you're right, a lot of sameness going on. :)
    Much of my originality will escape the eye of most observers. Why? Because the originality is in the view and subtleties of the image. Any originality, intentionally, isn't shown as a curmudgeon beating you over the head until your eyes ache and you cry out; "Please!" "Take this image away!". Also, the transition to original thinking imaging didn't begin until just last November, when I frustrated out with what it was I "had" been doing. So any originality would be seen in the images that I've created since November last year. As we speak, I have several different ideas to work with and try to find time to bring to fruition. Are they original ideas? For me they are. Could about a thousand other photographers before me have done the same, identical things? Of course. So for me, it's original thought but for others, it's just more of the unoriginal same.
    I guess we all could lament life in the same way Thoreau did a hundred and fifty years ago with "Walden". Thoreau has become an icon and people now devout their lives to studying his writings. Do you really think that was what he was about? Where's the originality? And have things really changed much since 1854? :) Walden
    We can lament the breaking off too much to chew as in Hemmingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" and discuss how life is bigger then all of us. Are things much the same in Cuba today? Or that life is what it's all about in the final as in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"..... "Too bad she has to die." "But then again, none of us lives forever." from "Blade Runner". Or we can quit talking about it and learn to enjoy it, cause when it's gone, it's gone.
    The era we live in today, is an era where pretty much, because there has been so much that has come before it, become a life of repeated repetition. It's gotten to the point where some gal has to flip her breast out on national TV or take images of rotting corpses in a forensic field in order to keep her stock alive. :) Doesn't speak well for humanity or what one might call influential artists.
    Nope! Nothing that's either inspiring or for that matter, is there anybody in the art world that I'd want to be influenced by.:) So the only road to original thought, for me, is pretty much a rejection of all that's come before and see what happens when one travels life's road in blissfull ignorance creating photographic images. :)
     
  55. As a counterpoint, I'd simply like to note that if I were to view a
    collection of work by, for example, grant or Jeff Spirer, it wouldn't
    be difficult to recognize whose work I was viewing because each
    of them has a visual style derived from his perspectives and
    goals. I can also recognize the influences of a number of other
    photographers in many of their images even though they are not
    directly emulating the work of those influences. In short, having
    influences does not diminish ones creativity or the "originality" of
    ones work.

    As an aside: Thoreau's writings are a fairly direct re-expression
    of thousands-of-years-old Taoist thought, though that doesn't
    mean that Thoreau lacked creativity or originality.
     
  56. Everbody, lives with influences. The only question is whether we are conscious about them or not.
    Everbody lives with a personal guide, idea, formed perception of live. The question is only, do we make our choice consciously or do we prefer to flow in stream of influences non selectivly. Whom do we choose to be our guide: our mind, our heart, our vital?
    At every moment we decide who is our guide.
    In general artist are more conscious about this choice, because they are more emotionally bound to their work than other professions.

    From a more broader viewpoint I find also that art needs to be spiritual. Every emotion that is conveyed through art is in the context: How do i feel myself in the world? Where do I come from and where do I go? etc, etc. These questions do lead to the spiritual background of the artist. Every artist has to answer this question before himself only.
    Just a few thoughts.
     

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