My Hungry Heart

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

See local

Posted by shermancharles on March 19, 2008

© Rachel Mackow

I went to a local photography gallery in Hopewell, NJ [http://www.gallery14.com] this past weekend to see some work by a few local photographers. While there I grabbed a postcard off a stack lying on a small corner table. The front cover was a beautiful black and white photograph of a forest setting. Wonderful, image titled – “Black cohosh in Fog”. Flipping the card over I learned that it was taken in The Sourland Mountain Reserve in Somerset county. A short 10 minute drive from my house. That evening I logged on to the photographer’s website to view the rest of the portfolio from that series. I was really amazed. I have hiked through the Sourlands often, and always thought it would be an interesting place to photograph but never go around to it. Also I never decided on the approach that I would take. I must say that I was very inspired by what the photographer, Rachel Mackow, had done.

So the moral of this story is to see local. Look around you. Some of us sit around wishing we could travel to exotic locations, and photograph interesting places and people. We may find ourselves very surprised at what lies right around our corner. Develop your creativity to be inspired by the commonplace and find the stories that are right underneath your nose.

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Posted in Creativity, Inspiration, NJ, People, Photographer, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thoughts on creativity

Posted by shermancharles on February 24, 2008

“Ignore everybody”

“A fancy tool just gives the second-rater one more pillar to hide behind. Which is why there are so many hack writers with state-of-the-art laptops”

“Don’t worry about finding inspiration it comes eventually”

The quotes above are all from Hugh MacLeod and included in his brilliant How To Be Creative manifesto. Excellent read for anyone in the creative arts.

We all have to find for ourselves where we are to be. The internet can’t tell us. Flickr comments can’t tell us. It is our own path that we must seek out and walk. Sounds like a fortune cookie but I really believe it to be true. My own photography got better when I stopped trying to be like everyone else and I started seeing for myself. I started focusing on what I felt came naturally to me. It’s ok to like what you like. It may not be the trend right now, but if it feels real to you, good to you, then it will be worth your exploration. One of the negatives of all this inter-connectedness (newly minted term) is that we have so much access to so much creativity. Generally this is good. We get to appreciate and learn from others. We get to share our own work. The negative comes in when all that creativity becomes noise that deafens our senses and hinders our own development. Noise that blocks the path from mind to soul with doubt, envy, worry and confusion. On flickr I see so many photographers trying to emulate some other photographer’s style. Especially through photoshop. True it can be a learning experience to do this – but for the most part they are focusing on the “what” or the “how” as opposed to the “why”. Creativity is more about the why. Any creative has to define the why of what they do. Walking through a museum, I often ask myself, why did the painter paint this way? Why did he choose this palette? Why this subject? Maybe even why did he paint at all? The Masters – they all had vision that was guided by specific intent. They wanted to paint a specific way, they wanted to use certain colors and paint certain subjects. They manifested their own intent. Their own why. If you don’t pursue your own, all you’re doing is copying the work of someone else. Mastering the how of their work. That may make you a better craftsman, but not a better artist. My father being a musician told me this – in music, being able to play a song that has already been written and played by others is craft, being able to write and play your own that others will want to play, is art.

Posted in Art, Creativity, Inspiration | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Dan Winters Unpublished

Posted by shermancharles on January 28, 2008

© Dan Winters

Editorial and celebrity photographer Dan Winters has provided ten never before published photographs from his personal archives. Truly inspiring work. I think my two favorites would have to Sandra Bullock and his father. The image of his father is striking, biblical if you may.

Posted in B&W, Inspiration, photograph, Photographer, Portrait, Portraiture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fazal Sheikh Exhibit

Posted by shermancharles on October 29, 2007

© Fazal Sheikh

If you’re near Princeton University anytime soon check out the exhibition of Fazal Sheikh’s work at the Princeton Art Museum . Incredibly sad, tragic and utterly beautiful at the same time.

Read more here

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Isabel Munoz

Posted by shermancharles on October 17, 2007

Photo is a French photography magazine that I peruse through and sometimes purchase at my local b&n. My French is pretty terrible so I can’t read/understand most of the content. The photographs however: wow. Amazing. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that it usually publishes images that would not normally be published in an American mag.

This issue highlighted a project by the Spanish photographer Isabel Munoz . Isabel is a very talented artist whose work I would best describe as fine art reportage. Her projects range from photographing Capoeira dancers of Brazil to remote tribes of southern Ethiopia. Her images have a strong, intimate detail to them. They contain a richness and presence that is hard to overlook. For this current Photo issue, she photographed members of the Mara Salvatrucha gangs (see cover image).

For more insight into her work read this article from lens culture. On the very bottom of that page is an audio link where she describes her working process.

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