Are you a fool? Why do you think you are, or not, as the case may be?
In my head, the fool usually rules – he challenges the norm, and his job is to question the rules, conventions and so on, that keep you thinking the same things.
Sometimes, in photography, you have to let your head rule, let the fool inside you out.
As an adult, I think it’s harder to do than when you were a child. Children act the fool all the time, and everyone smiles and chuckles and says “how cute” – once grown, the same actions are seen as unhealthy and immature. Now I’m not suggesting for one minute that we all go around acting like a 5 year old all the time, but I am suggesting that you let your mind wander. Laugh at yourself.
I had an idea a while ago – not an original one I hasten to add – but I’d seen images created of people apparently levitating. A quick check on the web pretty much told me how they were achieved, and then, with the aid of a pal, we set off to see what we could do. It was harder than we both thought, to get the light right, to get a natural looking lift, and more importantly, to get perspectives right so it ‘looked’ like we’d got a person to float.
I was reminded of a quote I’d read
“If you tell people where to go, but not how to get there, you’ll be amazed at the results”
And that’s how we were – we had a rough idea where to go, but it was up to us to come up with a ‘fool’ proof route.
A problem was posed, and we had complete freedom in our imaginations as to how to solve it.
At school, we learn that failure is not an option – you are scored throughout your life – tests, exams, sales figures, business goals. We learn to be right with only one answer as often as possible. We keep ‘mistakes’ to a minimum. You have learned not only to not make mistakes, but you learn to not put yourself in a situation where you might fail.
The photographic judge looks at your photo, and doesn’t like it – he/she scores it 8/20 – you are deflated. You won’t make that mistake again – you won’t enter a competition again – at its worst – you won’t take any more photographs if that’s the attitude.
The question is – Are you afraid to fail? Are you afraid to try something new in your photo journey because of that fear?
What I see with most amateur photographers (and by that I mean new starters mostly) is that they post online everything they shoot – the good, the bad and the ugly….. The people who are rated more highly, are the ones who (apparently) shoot good images all the time. WRONG – they are the curators, the people who only post their good shots. You only see what you are allowed to see – because yes, they make as many mistakes as the rest of you – it’s just that you don’t see them.
So, be brave, be curious, make mistakes and play the fool.
My experiment with levitation, by the way, not only led me on an interesting journey through the ‘how did they do that’ process, but ultimately led me to images that I like, and have entered into national competitions, with some degree of success.
Enjoy being the fool……