Saturday, July 12, 2014

Photography Is A Drug - Life In Abstract

Photography Is A Drug - Stallion Springs, California
A triple exposure.
Photography is a drug. It makes you feel good. It is an escape--an escape from the stresses of life, an escape from the ho-hum. It can lift your spirit. 

Photography is addictive. Once you start it is hard to stop. I remember in college spending hours and hours capturing images, followed by almost entire days in the darkroom developing and printing. It is not much different today, although the darkroom is now digital. I have also spent a lot of money in the pursuit of great photographs.

Why is photography like a drug? Why do people spend so much time, energy and finances on it? Why is it so hard to stop?

If you are a creative person, you are wired to be creative. You must be creative or you fade away. Scott Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University, said, "Creative expression is self-expression. Creativity is nothing more than an individual expression of your needs, desires and uniqueness."

In other words, for the creative person, whatever the chosen outlet is, it is an extension of themselves. Photography is an extension of me. My camera is an extension of me. My images are an extension of me.

My photographs say things that I may not be able to eloquently speak. When you see my images you see the world through my eyes, my brain and my heart. To the viewer my photographs may seem like just photographs, but they are actually pieces of me. I am infused into the images. My life is in abstract.

Abstract can be defined as expressing ideas and emotions through conceptual and/or metaphoric methods. Life in abstract means expressing oneself in creative ways. It requires finding outlets for that creativity and actively pursuing those crafts.

The reason that photography is a drug to many creative persons is found in that deep-down desire to self-express. If the creative person does not self-express then he or she loses their creativity, and in doing that they lose a part of themselves.

Creative people passionately pursue their creative outlet from an internal desire. Creative people are intrinsically motivated. It is a part of who they are. They feel a need to be creative. They don't need outside factors to persuade themselves to be creative.

Photography is a drug, and I'm addicted. I must creatively express myself. My preferred choice to self-express is through the lens of a camera.

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