Monday, September 27, 2021

Why do I create?


The Gift

Last year I was determined to add colour into my image making. This was a result of someone telling me that they found my images to be depressing since they were often black and white, or very muted, as well as minimal. 

So I involved myself in a few projects to get some colour into my photographic life.  I worked at these projects and started thinking...YES, I can do this! I can create with colour! And then somewhere along the way I realized that YES! I can create with colour! I can be an image maximalist! But you know what....I don't want to! 

Minimalism, subtle colour, high contrast black and white images. These are images I enjoy looking at, and these are the images I want to create, images that move me.

I love creating images and am lucky enough that I enjoy doing this in many ways. I enjoy discovering something with my eyes and capturing it with a camera. The technical aspect is not important to me. I could use a phone camera, a point and shoot, or my "good" camera. 

I also enjoy creating composited images on my computer by taking elements from several different photographs and creating something new that comes from my imagination. I have a vast library of photographs I've taken over the years...strange things that I captured without knowing why. Now I have a way to use all those elements to create something new, and I love it. I love creating something that no one else will ever be able to create because they don't have my library...and they don't have the same vision as me.

I belong to a photography club, and I have been told so many times that what I do is not photography. Why does everything need a label? Why can't I make the images I want to make without other people telling me that it doesn't fit into their notion of photography? I'm not entering into competitions with these images...I'm just creating images that I enjoy making.

Struggling artistically is something I do now and then. I go through this phase every so often when I want to throw up my hands, pull everything off social media, and beat a hasty retreat from the public eye. But I do feel the need to share my work in some way, so the question should that be done? Something to ponder.

The bulletin board above my desk is filled with printed images that I have created this year. I think they are good. I think they are leaps and bounds over the images I exhibited at a gallery in I created in 2019 and 2020. 

Maybe I'll share them someday. But maybe it's okay just to have them on a bulletin board for me to see.


  1. First, who are these people who have the nerve to tell you that your work is depressing? And, who are the other people who dare to say your work isn't photography? I hope you can spend less time with them in the future. You do you, my friend.

  2. Whoever is telling you that what you do is not photography, needs to be edited out of your creative life. I think some people still come from the mindset that 'the camera never lies', when in fact every image is a lie, a distortion of the world around us. Every photo ever made has been edited in one way or another. Photography = light + writing. Photography has changed again and again as the technology changes. If an image expresses your artistic vision, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. The exceptions revolve around news and documentary images, or situations where there are specific rules, like a contest entry.

  3. Further to Keith's note, I'm not even sure what a photograph is anymore. I do know that the art and craft of imaging making based on photographic techniques is alive and well. I also think that the creative process is hard enough as it is without having to deal with unsupportive people. In the end we have to be true to ourselves. To the nay sayers, an appropriate response is (here is what makes me feel good about my art and heart - deal with it or move on). To those same nay sayers you can also throw Jerry Uelsmann in their faces. Uelsmann created brilliant collages in the darkroom and he was called a photographer. From a technique perspective, I see very litlle difference between what you do and what he did - you just use different tools. Cheers, Sean Drysdale PS I love the lyrical and poetic quality to your work.

  4. I don't know who said your stuff isn't real photography but I'm my opinion they haven't a really creative bone in their body. As others have said, in our digital age, there's no such thing as photographs in the old-fashioned sense. Every image is manipulated to some degree - by the camera and/or the photographer. Even photographers of the past played with using double exposures and whatnot to express their creative vision. Personally, I LOVE what you do, and hope we get to see some of what's pinned to your bulletin board soon.


It's great to hear from you! I appreciate your comments.