Thinking about my most recent France trip, and about creativity.
It was a strange trip in that every time we turned around … something was turned around. Between the weather at Saumur, and the lack of a rental car, and more bad weather, by the time I got on the plane for the homeward flight I was disappointed that I’d gotten so little work done. I have to admit, this was partly the reason it took me so long to get cracking on processing and exploring whatever photos I had done. I’d spent most of the Saumur show inside the Grande Manege, which although it is aesthetically interesting, it is not the best lit indoor arena on the planet. Even the Mark III, which is really good in low light, had a hard time getting it done. I’d only gotten to play outdoors for a few hours, and I had tried to squeeze as many little watercolor sketches in during that time as I could. Without actually looking too hard at the photo files, I convinced myself that I was short on interesting images from France, and I was somewhat relieved to jump into the hard work of processing the 6500 photos that I shot at Dressage at Devon, and the next job, and so on.
Finally the other evening, after the day’s work was done, I steeled myself to open the France folder. I sat down with the laptop and a glass of wine, figuring that I would just do a quick edit and cull out the total losers. But I started to sense the essence of the images that were inside the files. I opened one, then another and another, and played with various post processing possibilities, extracting that essence from the raw materials.
A full day later I looked at the sum of what I’d distilled from what I’d assumed was just the photo equivalent of a lump of clay, and I was humbled. Because while I’d been traveling, I had believed I’d been uninspired. I had believed that the oddities of the trip were putting the kabosh on my creativity. But apparently some part of me had been inspired, and I hadn’t even been conscious of it.