Photography, The Artist's Journey

So I’ve taken a bit of a side path with my more recent work. I haven’t shown a lot of landscapes here, probably because I just didn’t want to be associated with my late father, landscape painter, Richard Ferrier. Besides I was a city person, concerned with urban things. Truth is I take quite a lot of shots of skies, and often water as I’m around it a lot.

Recently I did a couple of classes on landscapes, and I took the opportunity to work on my long exposures and water. I’ve wanted to get those dream long exposure water shots for ages, and never mastered the logistics of it.  The class had us shoot the sunset, but I was the last one back stumbling my way in the dark.

This is the one I showed to the class. Quite a few went before me. I was impressed with the variety of shots, both with the content and the quality. When mine came up on the screen I felt disappointed. The screen showed a much less vibrant shot than this which I was prepared for, but it wasn’t that. My reaction was: all it looks like is a bunch of rocks! Why did I shoot that? Ha!

But the response of the class was more than I could have hoped for, and maybe they saw what I did originally.

This was shot at f11, 30 seconds with an ISO of 100. The sun had gone down. That’s Toronto way back there in the background. If you look carefully you can see the CN Tower.

Creative Process Rumination

The Artist's Journey

I’d go out at night, sometimes around 9 or 10, sometimes much later. I put jazz on the car radio. From time to time I would dictate notes on my iPhone, capturing my thoughts and contemplations as I spent hours alone.  I fill a thermos mug with wine and walk around in the dark in the neighborhood. I’m always keyed up and anxious, but I also love being out in the dark and the excitement of it.

What started as being a simple exercise of photographing your neighborhood turned out to be more complex the more I focused on it. I found myself thinking about what my photographs meant. I found myself thinking about what it meant to live here. All those hours alone contemplating my life here, how I came to be here, why I hadn’t left.

I found myself I found myself contemplating my conflicted feelings about being here.  And yet they were a part of who I was in some way that had to do with me figure out who I was as a teenager. Here I am at middle-age knowing full well the kind person that I am and yet dragging the past with me.

Conflicted between trying to make this place more beautiful more special, and at the same time driven to capture the worst of it. Back-and-forth I would go. I discover things in the process of it. Seeing what I’ve been drawn to, I see I’m looking for the drama that maybe isn’t there, creating the drama that maybe isn’t there.

Overcoming Fear

Blocks, The Artist's Journey

Fear, fear, fear. What am I afraid of?

Fear is a common block to getting stuff done, but it doesn’t always take shape the way you expect. Sometimes it hides underneath things so you don’t even recognize it’s fear. It often masks itself as procrastination. Sometimes we simply don’t know how to start or get going and the fear of the unknown keeps us shifting around for a distraction. Social media. Food. Getting our work space just right. The inspiration hunt.

What are you afraid of?

Fear of Success

I’ve read it’s common to be afraid of success. It that true? I recently hard that someone was afraid to admit they were a good artist because it meant no excuses. Or there is the pressure of having to perform to your standards. But I’ve never heard of anyone being afraid of success when they haven’t started – if that’s you tell me what it’s like for you. But when I hear it it’s kind of like a balm. Ah success, yes that’s what I’m afraid of. Well now, isn’t that silly?

I tell you what I’m afraid of: death. Let’s put things in perspective.

Fear of Failure

Fear of failure on the other hand makes sense to all of us. We got it. It resonates because there is a kind of death in failure. Death of hopes, dreams and ego. And before you want to downplay the importance of ego like many people do, the ego doesn’t deserve its bad rap. Ego is us.