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Saturday, May 04, 2013

Best Form of Flattery

"Composing a fine art photograph is not about redoing what someone else has done before.  If tempted to redo an image you have seen, just buy the postcard, the book or the poster. You cannot be someone else, therefore you cannot take the same photographs as someone else. You will waste time trying to do so."

While I agree with the above statement, I take a bit of exception to it in one regard.  If I may rely on a clique, "Imitation is the best form of flattery."  

Hmmm, how do I bring this together? 

We are always students of our art form.  When someone has impressed us with their skills, figuring out how they did it then replicating it, expands our skill set.  So just duplicating a well done composition should not be the objective, gaining knowledge should be.  Grasping how something is done allows us to experiment and morph it into our style.  

So, yes taking someone else's composition and using it only to replicate it; yea, you might as well buy the postcard.  But if you work at recreating it to discover what it took to capture it and throughly examine all the elements that went into making it what you loved about it, you will grow exponentially.

BTW  What I left out of the above quote really makes the author's point, which I (shamefully) bent to my own needs.

"Instead, start to create your own images right away."

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