Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Lost World III: T-Rex Battle

For the third picture in the series, I wanted to do something a bit more dynamic. This is an area where I have a lot to learn, but I am working on it.

I am still not convinced that what I am doing is art. All I am doing is that I am putting pieces together, pieces created by other people. On the other hand, as a photographer, I am doing exactly the same thing, and that is considered art.

When in doubt, check definitions. It does not always help, but then again, quite often it does:

The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. - The Oxford dictionary
 Well, at least I am trying. I am recombining all sorts of different stuff, drawing on ideas from paintings, comics, movies, and books from several different genres. On top of that, I kit bash like crazy, using commercial 3D models, my own photos, and a suite of different software apps, to create these images. The purpose is to create works of beauty and emotional power, though, I admit, not always at the same time.

It doesn't have to be good to be art. It is making the effort that counts.

Here is the most important bit: If I can do it, so can you!

When I was seven years old, I loved to draw, like almost all children at that age. Then, something happened. When I was thirteen, I was utterly convinced I could not draw, and worse, I could not learn.

Through most of my life, I did not draw anything. Then, I started using simple diagrams, drawn on paper with squares, because I knew I could not draw a straight line, to make notes at work. I discovered I could use simple sketches to explain things.

That was a breakthrough for me. My sketches and diagrams looked awful, but that was okay, because they communicated what I needed to communicate. Mostly software design, at the time.

Later, I got into Systems Thinking, and management, and it became even more important to be able to express myself visually. I did a lot of presentations, paid presentations, so I needed visual aids, both to explain difficult concepts, and to keep the audience awake.

About six years ago, I decided to learn photography. The first year, I took more than 8,000 really, really boring pictures. Mostly of flowers. The second year, I took more than 13,000 pictures. I began varying my subjects more, and learned some basic rules of composition.

Despite this, the one thing almost all of my pictures had in common, was that they sucked. There were a couple of exceptions though, and I think that is what kept me going.

The third year, my skills took off. I learned to take fewer, but much better, photos. I began doing digital effects, and various kinds of trick photography. At first, I was back to sucking again, but I kept at it, and began to improve.

Now, I am still struggling. I am at a different level, but I am struggling more than ever. I used to think that only the results mattered. How I got there was unimportant. I still believe that, as a general principle, but I am starting to have doubts when it comes to my personal work.

I am not to worried though. That nagging doubt is part of the drive to explore, to learn, and to improve.

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