Make It Your Own
When you live on an Island that is approximately 144 sq miles in size it is inevitable that at some point in time you are going revisit what others have done before you. In such a tiny place everything has already been shot, painted, filmed or written about. The question therefore that needs to be asked is: "What does an artist do to spark creativity and to generate interesting works of art?"
The answer lies in the title of this blog post " Make It Your Own". In simple terms , find some means to make your interpretation unique or at least substantially different from what has gone before. This is not always easy to accomplish and at first may seem to be a fool's errand. How do you make something your own when dozens of other creatives have stood in the same spot that you are now standing?
If it was easy then what would it be worth?
The challenge is to stand in that spot, see (visualize) something unique and then create it. Stand in that spot, immerse yourself in the moment and the location and find that perspective which is unique to the moment. Then you create something special!
Yes it will still contain the familiar elements of the location that many have visited and captured, but on this day at this moment, the clouds are different, the way in which the sun peeks from behind the clouds is different, the pattern of the waves and how they wash up on the rocks is different. There are many things that are the same, but there are also variables: and when these variables are used in a creative way the result can be an image that brings a fresh perspective.
Post processing is another important aspect. Using creative post processing techniques to draw attention to the variable elements will highlight the unique nature of the moment. I am not referring to the easy to apply "one click" , Instagram type filters and modes which can be fun to use at times. I am speaking about taking the time to use processes such as 'dodge and burn' and 'toning' to create an image that draws the viewer into the frame and utilizes light , shadow and colour to direct their view.
An example is this image of the jetty at Browne's Beach in Barbados. This is a popular landmark for local photographers because it's easily accessible and is ideally positioned to be used as an element in framing sunsets in the evenings. Therefore its been shot hundreds of times. That however did not deter me from taking an evening trek to the location to try my hand at it. I wanted to create something that had my stamp and decided to go for a black & white interpretation. In post processing I gave special attention to creating a moody feel by burning in some areas and dodging others. I also applied a gradient tone map to help strengthen the black & white tones and then used a bit more dodging to draw the eye to the centre of the image. The result is a familiar location but with my stamp .
Make it your Own.