Saturday, April 6, 2013

PhotoTao Card #24 - Skill...

Card #24

When your eyes and mouth are choked
with the dust of someone elses feet, neat
walkers command your respect.

- Exercise -
If you want to create great photographs,
look at the work of the Masters but don't 
let them cloud your perception of your
own work.   Learn from them and then
discard them as you would a pair of shoes
that now pinch your toes.  You've grown 
and your new skill has given you your
unique voice.  Give yourself a private
exhibition of what you consider to be 
your best work to date.  See where your
"new shoes" have taken you!

Self Portrait on the Beach on Harris - 2005
  When I first went to the Hebrides in 2005 I went with the firm intention of walking in Paul Strands footsteps.  His book, Tir a Mhurain, was like my bible and the images of his 3 months in the Outer Hebrides in 1954 were etched on my brain.  When I discovered someone else had already "been there, done that" the year before I was, at first, crushed.  After all, I had written the grant that funded this trip with the express purpose of re-visiting Strands locations.  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as many things in life are.

   From then on I was free to experience the Western Isles with my own eyes...from my own perspective.  In the process of doing that I "discovered" contemplative photography.  My life and my camera work would never be the same.

   That autumn, when I had to present the work I had created on my trip to the charitable trust that had funded it, I simply told them the truth.  I set out on one path and came back on an entirely different but wonderful one.  They were quite please with that and so was I.


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