The importance of self-doubt in the creative process
posted Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 1:00 PM EST
Self-doubt may not seem like an important component to photography, but photographer Ben Horne believes it is. So long as you harness it and make it productive, at least. Wondering what you're doing and why, questioning how something is going to work out, can make you a more curious and creative photographer. Photography shouldn't always feel easy. If it does, you are missing out on an important part of any creative process, difficulty.
After discussing the value of challenges and self-doubt, we join Horne as he continues his fall trip to Zion. Rather than hit a new area, he is actually revisiting the same area as he went to the previous day to dig further into the location. There's a lot of value in revisiting locations. You can see a familiar subject in a new way or perhaps find an altogether new area you had not noticed before. It's a challenge and as we know, challenges fuel creativity.
There's nothing wrong with a simple composition. In fact, it's exactly what Horne is after. When shooting in a wooded area, that's a tough task. There's a lot of chaos and possible subjects all located in the same area and it can be hard to find a composition that isn't completely cluttered. When in a forest, sometimes looking down can work well. A close-up shot is made all the more difficult because Horne shoots with large-format 8 x 10 film gear, which requires precise measuring of distance between elements to properly expose a close-up photograph. Ultimately, Horne determined that he needed to shoot with an extra stop of exposure time to have a properly-exposed image.
Despite intending to shoot a lot of film on this particular day, Horne ended up spending much of the day exploring. We may all be photographers, but it's perfectly okay to simply enjoy the great outdoors. Sometimes you can make your best images when you aren't seeking out a scene. And sometimes you don't make many photos; that's okay too.
(Via Ben Horne)