Lately I’ve been wading into the work of Ansel Adams. His thoughts on perspective encompass my beliefs that each person if gifted with a unique scope on the world and that each person’s creative spirit needs to be fed.
“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”
― Ansel Adams
Feeding the creative spirit should be as important as satisfying physical hunger. A scenery can be drank in like a glass of wine. Looking around there is always something that can be consumed and fed into the imagination, or added onto an idea that is half-baked in the mind. Ideas are digested. Words nourish. In this vein of thought, I decided to work with a simple cherry-blossom bedspread, minimal lighting, and myself as the subject behind a fierce mask.
If these photographs depict anything it is the nature of Ansel Adam’s approach to creation. Being a photographer means forgoing having your photograph taken in exchange for capturing other people. In that role behind the camera it is easy to forget what it is like to be on the other side and become uncomfortable with being photographed. These images are a reminder not to forget that there are two roles in photography, and that at times those roles can be carried out by one person.
Sometimes the camera can become a mask, and with that inhibition creativity can become stifled in a one-sided endeavour. Focus and dedication can drive us to hide in our work, but there must be opportunities to resurface and experience both sides for the process of creation to come full circle.