October 11, 2013

avoiding that which is derivative

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

A year or so ago I was having lunch with a very fine photographer (who doesn't need any publicity from me) (J.M.S. for those of you who know her), and along with her normal wisdom she offered a statement that I hadn't thought much about--that, sadly, "all art is derivative". That is to say that everything has been done before. Not that we consciously copy the works of others, but we replicate what we have already seen and have appreciated.

Her statement got me thinking about the non-originality of my own work, and yes, perhaps it is true. But it also inspired me to seek out new ideas and subject matter. I decided tht my motivation should be to find new ways of seeing, and to thoroughly explore the discovery process on a personal level.

Oh, I'm fairly sure I'm not the first photographer to shoot ripples on a lake, but since this epiphany about derivative work, patterns of ripples like these have been new and exciting subject material for me.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This ripple photo (above) is not new--taken in May of 2012. It hung this year in the Marin County Fair photo exhibit. Better, I think, than the first photo.

CLICK for 40 photos on what I call my "big site"; photoarrow.com.
CLICK for "Photographing Marin County"; my Marin County exhibit.

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