Archivi categoria: art

Perfectionism vs Creativity: Letting Go of the Need to Conform

“Perfect photographs do not move the heart.”
– David DuChemin, The Vision Driven Photographer

This is one of my favourite photography quotes, in fact one of my favourite quotes generally.

Now I’m not for one moment saying that this photograph will move anyone’s heart. But I am saying that it’s not perfect. It’s hazy and it’s soft, I’m not sure that any of it is in focus. Technically it’s really not good.

Some people will hate it but I’m okay with that.

Or at least I’m fairly okay with that. I took this photo for no-one other than myself. There’s no paying client, no need for me to conform to any so called “rules” of photography. It’s more or less what I was aiming to create. I say more or less because I only ever have a vague idea in my mind so nothing can be exactly what I aimed for—but soft, hazy, blurred, haunting were all words carried in my mind at the time.

Still, there’s a tiny doubt in my mind that stops me sharing this image on the day it was created. It needs to sit a while, I need to come back and look at it several times. I need to stop looking at it. Then I need to come back a few days later and look again. And maybe then I’ll be ready to share. Maybe then I will have decided that I’m happy enough with it not to really care whether it’s well-received or not.

Because I know some people will hate this photo. They won’t like that it’s not in focus, they will wonder why I’m happy to lose all the shadow detail, they’ll be dying to point out that there aren’t really any catch lights in the eyes and don’t I know that the light bit on the background wall is distracting.

So today I’m finally ready to say I don’t care. I know the rules. I know where I’ve broken the rules. But I don’t care. I can play by the rules but sometimes I just don’t want to.

How did a creative art form end up so bound up in its own rules that we all feel an ingrained need to comply with them? How did we come to value perfectionism above creative expression?

I have a question for you…

What if you let go of the need to conform, what if you didn’t worry about blown highlights, shadows that are too dark, images that aren’t pin sharp zoomed right in? What if all the rules no longer applied and you were free to express yourself without constraint?

What would you create?


About the author: Janet Broughton is a UK-based photographer, blogger, and copywriter. You can find more of her work on her website, or by following her on Facebook and Instagram. This post was also published here.

‘Abstract: The Art of Design’ is a Must-Watch Netflix Show for Photographers

If you appreciate visual art and aesthetics—and, if you’re reading PetaPixel, chances are good that you do—then you absolutely must watch the new Netflix original docu-series “Abstract: The Art of Design.”

The newly minted 8-episode series follows “eight of the most creative thinkers and imaginative minds working in the world of art and design today,” and ever since it came out on Netflix we’ve been receiving email, after tip, after Facebook message about it. Now that we’ve gotten around to actually watching it, we could not recommend it more highly.

Even though only one of the eight episodes follows a photographer—world-famous portrait photographer Platon—all eight are worth binge watching your way though immediately. They will give you a new appreciation for the creative process, inspire you to take your own work to the next level, and leave you amped up to go out and create something new right away.

There’s not much more we look for from a documentary series, much less one that isn’t even about photography in particular, but about the much broader pursuits of “design” and “art.” Check out the series trailer up top; if you’re a Netflix subscriber, you can watch all 8 episodes right now at this link.

Artist Shames Disrespectful Holocaust Memorial Tourists Using Photoshop

Holocaust memorials are somber places designed to honor the memories of the millions who lost their lives in the genocide, but tourists at the memorials can often be seen posing for lighthearted and disrespectful photos. Jewish artist Shahak Shapira has created a project called Yolocaust to speak out against this.

Warning: This article contains graphic photos of the Holocaust.

Shapira, a satirist based in Berlin, Germany, lives near “The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” in Berlin, which is a 4.7-acre space covered with 2,711 concrete slabs. It resembles a graveyard, but the designers say it’s an abstract memorial that is open to interpretation.

Visitors to the memorial, however, often use the space as a backdrop for all kinds of goofy selfies and photos. To show a different perspective of what these tourists are doing, Shapira gathered some of these photos and Photoshopped the subjects into actual historical (and horrific) photos from Nazi extermination camps.

After launching the project’s website a few days ago, traffic surged as the Photoshopped diptychs went viral, and the hundreds of thousands of visits took down his site for periods of time.

Shapira says he will remove anyone’s photo from his project — all they need to do is email him at [email protected].