Art hurts. Art urges voyages – and it is easier to stay at home.
— Gwendolyn Brooks, Poet
It may seem odd to quote a poet on a photography blog, but I don’t think that it is.
Poetry is, in my view, the art of choosing just the right words to concisely convey a thought, feeling, or image into the heart and mind of the reader. Poetry relies upon the complex interplay of connotation, denotation, cadence, rhyme, alliteration, and metaphor to raise up a mere collection of words to be more than simply the sum of its parts.
But most of all, before there can be poetry, there has to be a poet with something to say, and the talent to say it well.
“What does this have to do with photography?”, you may find yourself asking.
It’s simple, really: Art isn’t easy; it takes work, it takes vision, and it takes talent.
You’re not going to get there by sitting on your couch, watching television. You’re not going to get there by comparing camera specs on forums. You’re only going to get there if you start moving, and devote yourself to putting in the work necessary to build your talent to the point that you can realize your vision. And then, you get to visualize more.
It’s a voyage, and it’s not an easy one.
While writing Ulysses, to the best of my knowledge, James Joyce never spent any time comparing typewriter specs on the Underwood Forums, worrying about upgrading to this year’s new ribbon model, or comparing the contrast and resolution of different paper stocks. Honestly, I don’t even know if he used a typewriter, or wrote things out longhand. It doesn’t matter. The tools don’t matter, and never did.
Instead, he lived his life to the fullest, and devoted himself to his writing. He wrang evocative imagery and emotion from his soul, and sweat passion and dedication onto each and every page.
Do the same. Live your life to the fullest, and pour your passion and dedication into the imagery and emotion you create with your art, your photography. It won’t be easy. It will hurt, and it will be the toughest trip you ever take. But, the best possible you lies at the end of the journey.
Take the voyage.