Interesting article by Andy Ilachinski at The Luminous Landscape.

True photography, as a creative medium meant to express (and only rarely just to impress) requires a lifetime of dedication, practice and patience. In an age of ready access to all kinds of photo gear, from low end to high, and near instant self-gratification with “Wow, another stunning shot!” tweets from friends and family admiring our constant stream of smartphone image uploads, it is easy to forget that. The result is not an immediate, but ultimately short-lived, reward; rather, it is a slow, meditative, Zen-like journey toward self-discovery.

via Photography: An Eightfold Path Toward Self-Discovery – Luminous Landscape.

The following are the 8 steps.

1. Joyful snapshots of anything and everything.
2. A passive stirring of aesthetic value.
3. Willful engagement of the environment.
4. Recognition of the power of expression.
5. One picture is not enough.
6. Need to tell a story.
7. Stories of Stories.
8. Self-discovery.

It’s not always easy to understand from the titles exactly what the author means and sometimes the differences between the various steps are quite subtle so you really have to read the article to get a good sense of what he’s saying.

I don’t altogether agree with him. It seems to me that the article is very much specific to his own situation. He has felt the need to get beyond the single image and to tell stories, but I’m not sure that that necessarily applies to everyone. I must say though that I feel that I’m going in the same direction. So which stage am I at? I’d say stage 5, possibly stage 6.

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