Being creative takes courage. When we create, we are making something original and that usually means we are stepping outside our comfort zone into the unknown. For most of us, this means feeling a little intimidated and uncomfortable.
Last week when I was in town (100 Mile House), I had an extra hour before my next meeting, so I drove to the recreation area with my camera. I decided to challenge myself.
In front of me was the old Halcro Arena, soon ready to be torn down. I didn’t find it particularly inviting to photograph so I decided to make it my challenge. What can I make out of this building artistically in about 30 minutes, I thought to myself? At that very moment I felt a little uncomfortable. What if I can’t make a good image? Does that mean I am not creative? Will I be a failure?
That’s the moment when I pushed myself out of the truck and just started. I started experimenting. First the door and then the windows, the areas of greatest contrast. After 10 minutes I jumped back into my truck to thaw my fingers (it was – 25 degrees) and looked at my images. I was not impressed!
Once I had started, however, I was into it. I no longer thought of failure; in fact I was quite excited (after all, I could delete every image and no one would ever know I was there!). In the image below, I have marked the area I headed to next. There were subtle shapes of contrast.
Below is the image that pleased me the most. The different rectangular shapes of both colour and tonal contrast made for a composition that gave me a good feeling inside.
The most important aspect of this exercise was not the image itself, but the process of getting past that ‘uncomfortable’ feeling, to where I was excited being creative. With each such challenge, I gain a little more confidence in image making. Approaching an old and unexciting building will no longer make me feel uncomfortable; I’ll be excited from the beginning!
Halcro Arena. Abstract