15/Dec/2005 — Inspiration   12 comments


  Imitating good examples

Image of a photographer's reflection in a doorknob.

Reflection in a doorknob

Uploaded to Flicker
on December 7, 2005 by Claudecf

I’m just a big copy cat. I watch what others do and mimic the stuff I like. Yet, in the process of imitating, some of myself gets imprinted on what I am doing and it becomes something original.

Maybe that is what inspiration is or how it works.

At any rate, I like to imitate, especially when I am learning a new skill, like photography. I hang out at Flickr, because some excellent photographers share their work there. I can browse the various photostreams or search on tags and see some great stuff. Further, other photographers may comment on what makes a particular photo good (or not so good.) Again, I am learning from others.

If one wants to get better at tennis, I’ve heard, one should play against opponents who are more skilled than oneself. I think that that approach applies to learning anything. It just makes sense. You can’t learn to do something well from someone whose skill is mediocre.

For myself, often the challenge is being able to identify what makes something good. Sometimes I will see it right away. Other times I won’t. I feel that a little bit of theory can help fine tune one’s radar for indications of quality work. Even a 101-level primer in a subject can be a huge leg up when it comes to this.

But often, especially with artistic pursuits, the evaluation is subjective. It looks good to me, I like it, so I deem it “good.” A more tuned individual might be able to tell me why the photo/poem/painting/etc. that I fell in love with is flawed. But, even that is good, as long as the critique is balanced and reasonable. That insight helps me to peer with greater subtlety, fine-tuning my own radar.

Hence, even in that, I imitate the good examples.


Posted Thursday, December 15, 2005 by Grant in Random

12 responses to “15/Dec/2005 — Inspiration

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  1. You must have seen the teapot from Ebay. LOL I love viewing photos myself. Not sure it has helped improve my photography skills, but it is inspiration!

  2. I saw the teapot and I MUCH prefer Grant’s photo, LOL!

    I just came into posession of a very nice digital camera so I may run into you at FLICKR from time to time. I am very much a novice, though.

  3. I love claude’s work. And yours. grin.

  4. I loved the photo, I enjoy photography, not very good at it…I doubt if I try to duplicate this one…somehow me in a doorknob…just doesn’t sound flattering…

  5. fab photo .. i believe a little of old a little of new, a little of me a little of you = inspiration, art, growth. I play tennis and have to agree that to play with a higher skilled player enhances my game.. but i also know, that having to teach a skill or knowledge .. brings a finer intunement of possessing that skill in oneself.. and growth of course because the student is equally the teacher (perhaps diverse).. shazza

  6. Grant, I am addicted to Flickr, too. It inspires me to take more pictures, and has opened up my eyes to a lot of things I would never ever see in a kabillion years. One of my favorite photographers is “Heavenuphere”. Check out her stuff: http://www.flickr.com/photos/heavenuphere/

  7. Grant!

    I posted…not haiku though…..about my family history. The place, the name…the links..

  8. Well, apparently I am the only person in the WORLD who has not seen “the teapot” or a photo like this before. Love it, though! You are a constant source of entertainment for me, my friend! ~smile~

  9. @ txbabybloomer2: You have to help me out with the eBay teapot. Was it tarnished with the image of Mary or something?

    @ Zusiqu: Hook up on Flickr, if you want.

    @ Lydia: Thanks, Sweetie.

    @ Kim: LOL

    @ ModestJaws: I agree with you about teaching to learn. Was it Einstein who said that you don’t really know a subject until you can explain it to your grandmother?

    @ KJ: Thanks for that link… the photos were inspiring.

    @ Stephen: Thanks.

    @ Tracy: No, I’m in the “wtf is the eBay teapot” club. Maybe we’re the only members, though.

    — Grant

  10. That last statement I sure agree with. I like what I like, and don’t really care what critics say. 🙂

  11. i admire for your happy life, touring around,doing everything that you want with passion. yeah, be optimistic,be happy. I like to see pictures too, especially those transited online,which makes relaxed. ^_^, it is lucky for me to see the whole world through your camera

  12. Personally, I believe if a photograph has good composition, and good contrast, it has everything. But most of all, the reason for a hobby is to enjoy it. Don’t fret over the final picture, and enjoy the process of making good photography. And going on flicker is a great way to learn, I would call it research!

    Good luck and have fun. Let’s see, you went to Paris, and NOW you’re learning photography? Kind of backwards Grant!!!


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