Haven't figures out how to box quotes yet...so...
From Rob C
"do what comes into your head"
The question is how did that "what" get
into your head? Is it a result of viewing
millions of photographs and trying to recreate the
ones that our head liked? This is really one of the
BIG questions. Philosophers like E. H. Gombrich have
presented a new epistomolgy on how we "know what
we know" and how we see it. When you push a creativity
button, who's vision are you copying? The computer
programmer who liked Weston, Adams, or Arbus?
Likely not. It's probably a programmer who looked at
a survey of the popularity of images. We don't need
another bikini clad model pulling her hair out the water
in an arc. We've all lived unique lives, show what moves
YOU, in your image, using your artistic talent to let others see it.
John M R
You're too modern: when I started to think of photography there were no programmers of whom I know; it was back in the late 40s and early 50s that photography stuck in my mind, and then it was driven more by cameras
, because I used to see ads for Leica, Nikon, Canon etc. in American magazines and the objects were so pretty; they epitomised all that seemed to look good, attractive and bear the promise of tickets to a never-never land just beyond the purchase (of which I had no way of making). So advertising worked.
I did have a plastic Brownie Reflex somewhere around '52...
So that's one genesis of photographic interest. But interest in what as image
, which is where your question leads or perhaps from whence it comes, is something else.
As I've said repeatedly, that is decision based on recognition of self. For me, back in the pre-digtal era, it came from the discovery of my aunt's collection of Vogue
and Harper's Bazaar
magazines. I must have been about sixteen. Finding such amazingly beautiful pictures of women coincided with an enormous interest in the women themselves, and the added lure of sophistication was unbearable: it screamed to be absorbed. I didn't see women looking like that on the bus to school. I suppose it's what gave me the feeling of women on pedestals, where I've tried to put them the rest of my life. Frankly, I think it's what all people of some artistic bent have been doing, even the perverted ones who just see the pedestals as upside down.
You might say that okay, I'm just playing semantic games, that though were no programmers there were editors - filters to vison, if you like, so that's possibly the source of images for you. Almost, but true only in part: there were all sorts of magazines too, with all sorts of editors, so it wasn't as absolutely externally influenced a grounding as it might seem, because from that plethora of choice one was still obliged to select genre, and that choice could only be made via personal recognition. Even withing genre the choices are so vast: somebody in love with Sarah Moon couldn't envisage any love for either of the Richardson exponents. At least, this writer could never so do, amd its personality of which we speak.
To sum it up: you discover what you like, and your options are usually to go and produce something in the same general direction, or simply to hang about and wait until something happens that you see in time to catch. For the amateur, the luxury of time lets you follow the latter path but if you are a pro, you have to go out there and make something happen in as short a space of time as you can: your client has to pay for you, your models etc. etc. so hanging about and running up the hours awaiting the muse is seldom the open option.
Some declare that the only true art is the new. Maybe they mean that the only true gimmick is the new.