I recently read an article – ‘In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams’.
I thought to myself as I perused this article. I wonder if this is a once off – or has this person hitched themselves to the shirt tales of someone else?
Yes, as it turns out they had. Even in the bio section the person claims to ‘follow’ Ansel Adams.
To me this is not what an artist should strive for. Firstly, yes, we should learn from the Masters about ‘technique’. But this is where it should stop.
Some of the Masters have a highly nuanced and mastery of technique honed over a lifetime of work in a specific area, ie in the case of Ansel Adams – Large Format Photography.
The Hat Police
There comes a point, however, where after learning the technique – we trash it and let it go. Then, we use our innate creativity which springs from within the stillness of our own minds to spring forward fresh new creative ideas which we ourselves own.
We should resist and fight against all outward advice, critique (notwithstanding technique), stylistic nuanced comments or inflections about the direction of our artistic enterprise.
We alone make this decision, and we alone are the creator of the thoughts which beat in our hearts and pulse through our mind.
It’s easy to ‘follow’ someone else’s work. Make the hard call to stop following people… and start following yourself.
Enjoy, and keep shooting.