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
You always inspire me with your unique, fresh, exciting creations. Arts comes to life from even the most simple of things that we might have missed. Everyday, we see a leaf. We stare at them but until we let our imagination take flight does it becomes more than just a leaf. Beautiful!
Thank you and lovely to hear from you. Enjoy your week.
These are great images Sally. I love this particular challenge – photo editing is new to me and still exciting. Here’s my contribution: http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/imagining-the-void/
I agree. It’s new to me too. There is much to experiment and learn. Mostly, I find that there are certain apps that I’m drawn to their digital techniques. At some point it would be fun to survey and discover everyone’s favorites. See you soon. Thanks so much.
That would be really useful; I discover apps quite randomly and am always on the lookout for something new. 🙂
Yes, I’ve made a note of it, and will give everyone ample time to experiment with different ones. Probably, do it over the summer or autumn. Thanks.
I love those images what Iphone 4s can do …..Beautiful 🙂
Jake, thank you so much.
Hi Sally 🙂 I have some considerable catching up to do! I don’t have apps and use a very boring old Nokia phone so am coming late to the art form that is photo editing. I do find myself fascinated by it but I have what I consider to be a ‘wordy’ brain and not much patience with the experimentation process. I do enjoy looking, however. Maybe some day I’ll be led down this path. Amy graciously led me to your post today and I’m grateful 🙂
Welcome, I appreciate your visit. Do enjoy the entires of the others who participate in the challenge. Thanks so much.
Great images, Sally, and it’s fun to see how you process one image so differently. My favourite is the first one, just really like its graphical quality. And, yes, the creative process is something that brings excitement into our lives, isn’t it. By the way I have read (and have) The Creative Process, edited by Brewster Ghiselin, and I can only agree with you. One to recommend.
Otto, The Creative Process has always been a small gem of a book. Glad that you’ve read it. Thanks.
I really like the 2nd shot Sally. here are mine for this week. http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/phoneography-photo-challenge-editing-and-processing/
Thanks so much.
This is such a inspiring post, Sally. I like the first one due to the texture, I also like the rest for different reasons. Thank you so much for sharing!
Amy, my pleasure. See you soon. Thanks so much.
I like the quoted Stephen Spender expression: “a dim cloud of an idea which I feel must be condensed into a shower of words.” The word expression reminds me that Spender wrote a poem called “The Express.” That in turn reminds me of the many times I rode express trains in New York City’s subway system. After I moved to Austin in 1976 I once wrote to Spender, who even answered me.
Happy memories and happy spring.
Steve, you brought a huge smile on this overcast day during Spring’s awakening. Spender has always been a favorite, so I like the connections that you made. These treasured memories, which float to the surface, remind us of our storied lives. Happy budding.
The phrase you used, our storied lives, would be a good title for a blog, essay, or book.
Thanks, I recorded it on a post-it. Then it will get used eventually.
Love the first photo in this series, by the way! I’m a contrast freak.
Mary, it’s so nice to have you as part of the challenge’s community. Contrast can certainly tip the scales of a worthy image. See you soon. Thanks.
Interesting and informative post!
Cindy, thanks so much.
o the first one…so strong and rich and oozing life
That’s a lovely description. Thank you.
While I agree with you and really like the 3rd image (I love using glaze as well) there’s something about the second image that just draws me to it and makes it my favorite. I love how the leaf really pops against the background.
Edith, I welcome your opinion. I learn from others’ way of seeing. See you soon. Thanks.
Pingback: Do You Like Me . . . You Really, Really Like Me? - My IM Journey
Thank you so much for the Pingback.
aloha Sally. i too was attracted to image #3. strongly. i suspect it has to do with my visual arts sensibility. i liked the line quality that was produced around edges which gave me the feeling of drawing. the interiors then had the feel of paint (for me). all the images work and are good (imo). i have a desire to return to my paint and drawing areas. so i suspect this image nipped strongly at that for me. way cool.
i also noted your referencing to something that i consider very basic to my personal definition of art. that is “Searching”:
“. . . . a path to seek and find, find and seek. That’s what is miraculous and unwavering about this constant push in my life.”
part of my personal definition of art—and life, is this:
Life = Searching = Art = Searching = Life
i like it when others find a sense of this to be integral to their own process of creating. fun. aloha.
Rick, the creative process is so hard to capture in words, yet others describe their artistic journey with strokes of its tangible and intangible place in their lives. It’s this constant journey of discovery that never stops breathing and pushing. Yes, it’s nice that we see this process in similar terms. Thanks for your thoughtful response. See you soon.
Beautifully done Sally. Your eye is beautifully refined!
Tina, I’m humbled. See you soon. Thanks so much.
I’m facinateted by the line work of #4. Thanks for turning us on to new photo apps. The painting one is fun I hope I can get the hang of soon.
Carol, it’s a never-ending story of possibilities. Explore and enjoy. Thanks so much.
These are wonderful Sally-I really like the top image the best-it has a real mixed-media feel about it-the textures really pop here-though I was also drawn to #3 for its soft and dreamy effect-I agree-your images never disappoint!
I’m humbled. Thanks so much.
Another great challenge Sally and some really thought provoking and stimulating words by you. What you wrote immediately took me below the surface and caused me to dig a little deeper into my own creative processes. My favourite image of yours is the first one.
Suzanne, I appreciate your comment. See you soon. Thanks.
Love these, Sally, especially that last image. It looks so real. Reminds me of a leaf pressed onto a book.
The last image is the original that I found on the road. It is weathered, but certainly resembles half of its former former self. Thanks.
Great edits all but I’m partial to #2 and #3. Like your “Pens” section on creativity. I found that my library did not have Ghiselin’s book but I found it online as a free PDF download! Go figure. So, I now have another book to read! LOL! Great job. My posting will be late this week (if I can get to it) — I’ve got to bite the bullet and get some work done around here (and taxes are coming due)! 🙂
Linda, let me know what you think about the book. Thanks so much.
Like NW and Sustainabilitea I favoured 1 and 5, finally settling on 5. Although the colour range is less than in 1 I find it more subtle. And the contrast with the background in 5 seems very effective to me; fragility and irregular blocks of colour of the leaf set against the repeated pattern and a sort of concrete robustness of the background material. By the way what is that background exactly?
The background is the road. Number 5 is the original image. See you soon. Thanks.
I love these, Sally! The first is my favorite because of how it’s texture is amplified by the app you used to edit. Each image has a completely different feel even though they are all the same subject. Great work as always! Happy Monday to you! 🙂
Polly, happy photo challenge. Thanks so much.
Your pens section today is a wonderful read about the mysterious subject of creativity. I don’t tend to think about my process when it is working… only when I get stuck! But now I know where to come when I get stuck. I like the two you processed in Glaze. The leaf almost looks like a country on a map! and this is a great phrase: “The digital darkroom is a safe place to experiment. No chemicals to mix or breathe. Just a chance to re-conceive these images.”
Meghan, I am touched by your thoughtful comment. See you soon. Thanks.
Your leaf is a great subject to show the variety of processing techniques Sally and I find I agree with Janet, #1 and #5 are my favorites. I think I’ll have to take a look at Photo Studio!
Lisa, please do. Photo Studio is a journey all on its own. Thanks so much.
I love your photos, the third one is my favourite. 😀
Raewyn, thanks so much.
Happy phoneography Monday, Sally. I especially love your photo #3 for its abstract painterly look, but they are all intriguing edits/processings. I cannot wait to order the Creative Process, thanks so much for this tip; I’ve been reading so much about creativity lately and can’t get enough of this topic.
After you devour it, let me know your opinion. But I warn you, it will take time. While it’s a tiny, it’s dense. See you soon. Thanks.
I just ordered the book over on Amazon, and from just reading the reviews, I am really anxious to get my hands on it now. Thanks for leading me to this book. I’ll let you know my thoughts once I’ve read it.
Sally ! Amazed at the magical treatments and the outcome ! That’s a real metamorphosis,my friend,that’s Art ! Bravo !!!
Thank you so much.
Love your challenge, It challenges me to be creative.
Delighted to have you as part of the challenge’s community.
These are beautiful. Thank you for the book suggestion, too!
Luanne, let me know what you think about the book. It is a classic and a gem. Thanks so much.
Oh, this is truly beautiful, a leaf, all of them.
I appreciate your comment and visit. Thanks.
Hi Sally, I’m amazed with how you come up with different and interesting subjects for your challenge every Monday, and today is not exception. I enjoyed your leaf series, very much. Also, I’m going to check out the book you recommended, “The Creative Process.” Keep creating, Sally!
Elisa, please let me know what you think about that tiny book that is filled with small, medium and larger gems of insights and wisdom. Thanks so much for your comments. See you soon.
Neither our library or related libraries have a copy, Sally. 😦 It sounds great, though.
Really, that’s shocking. Do you have Inner-Library loan, which can get it for you? Let me know.
Linda found the book online as a PDF.
This was a fun week for me – you gave me permission to play in a way I don’t usually. I dig number 3 – very much like an ink and watercolor.
Dawn, yes, I had so much fun too. I really like what you did this week. Thanks for your participation. See you soon.
Good morning, Sally. Every Monday I wait to see what you’ll post and I’ve not yet been disappointed, in either photos or inspiring, informative text. But enough with the compliments! 🙂 My favorites today are the first and last. (Amazing! No waffling around today. I had clear choices.) I went in a completely different direction, but since last week during one of my walks I took some similar photos of leaves, I think I’ll be playing around a bit with the editing process on them this week.
Have a photo-filled week,
Janet, I feel this joy and warmth every time that I read your comments. You bring me tender moments for my day’s journey. Please have fun with the processing of the leaves. Thanks so much.