31 March 2014
“Creation begins typically with a vague, even a confused excitement, some sort of yearning, hunch, or other proverbial intimation, of approaching or potential resolution. Stephen Spender’s expression is exact: “a dim cloud of an idea which I feel must be condensed into a shower of words.” ~~ The Creative Process, edited by Brewster Ghiselin (1955).
The creative process is a wide and broad continuum of self-expression. Image making, for example, is accomplished with various levels of convergence (happenstance, planning, spontaneity, or…).
Immersion does not necessarily equal success. Anything is possible. Results may disappoint, satisfy, or stun. Or be unforgettable.
Even when that creative space is stilled through photography, the dialogue between the photographer and the subject is so personal that the result is uncertain. The image may be close or far apart from intention, which can be a benefit or not.
The dance of light can provoke, the sleight of hand of an animal’s leap can inspire, a person’s lean against a weathered wall can attract, a dimly lit window can provoke casts of characters. The simplest and the complex can ease or force the mind toward a photo opportunity.
The creative process builds on the dimension of time and place. It’s a swath of stories that are boundless with experimentation. Cinematic vistas, quiet sunrises, the birth of a flower, the flight of a hummingbird, the pause of a smile, the gesture of a friend, violence against humanity, the buzz of inventions, or…They can evoke a meditative pause or a ripple effect or inaction.
The creative process offers us a lifeline to be and see more than we ever imagined. But the journey is an ever-changing path of personal evolution. As a phenomenon studied over and over, it continues to incite discussion about its internal and external origins.
This energizing need to encourage my imagination is a continuum that provides a path to seek and find, find and seek. That’s what is miraculous and unwavering about this constant push in my life. It’s never done. It’s never complete. It’s omnipresent.
In the Lens section are my entries for this week’s editing and processing challenge. The single leaf adds to my series on leaf street graffiti (see my other post with Series #1 here).
Series #1 displays shadowy images of two leaves on the street. Negative spaces are occupied where leaves had been. Series #2 shows a leaf (maple, maybe) at rest where it’s decaying and withering, viable nonetheless.
I’ve processed the original (image #5) with the apps Glaze (images #2 and #3) and Photo Studio (images #1 and #4). The digital darkroom is a safe place to experiment. No chemicals to mix or breathe. Just a chance to re-conceive these images.
The most difficult part is selecting the effect that renders the original into a work that fulfills the image maker’s intentions. Sometimes the original stays true to the initial intention, and an app will reduce its authenticity. Other processing techniques will bring a new force to the image.
In this case image #3 seems to bring an ethereal quality that reminds me of Japanese paintings on rice paper. The app Glaze gave the photograph another dimension, which instantly became my favorite.
Tip of the Week: More than three decades ago I was introduced to a tiny but powerful book that continues to be a source of inspiration: The Creative Process, which was edited by Brewster Ghiselin and has remained a classic for anyone who is interested in the birth or spark or drive or need or compulsion to create an original concept. I’ve read and reread my copy so many times that it’s barely there. As a paperback, it’s done its duty over and over again. As a compendium filled with ideas by literary artists, performing artists, visual artists, mathematicians, scientists, and educators, it was an early reference for creativity and the human impetus behind it. If you’ve never read it, I recommend that you dive into this richly-filled anthology. If you’re familiar with it, I urge you to revisit its offerings.
View other entries in this week’s challenge:
Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of my blog.
If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. If you have any questions about the Photo Challenge, please contact me.
Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:
1st Monday: Nature
2nd Monday: Macro
3rd Monday: Black and White
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel). (Animals and Objects are themes.)
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week