Photographic Notes on the Creation of Specific Images
#2 - Antelope Swirls

Other essays in this series

Antelope Swirls
This image is part of the Print of the Month Collection

Regular visits to favorite places as inspiration

I regularly visit the same places over and over again.  I do so because I do not tire of visiting these places and because I continue to find new inspiration in these locations. 

This approach works for me because these places hold special meaning for me.  These are places that I continue to see in a new light each time I visit. These are places that are both complex and challenging to capture in photographs, and each new visit gives me a better understanding of how to approach these challenges.  Finally, some of these locations are photographed extensively, and creating new images there is difficult because so many images of these locations exist already.  By becoming intimately familiar with these places I can move away from superficial images and create images that represent a personal vision.

I find inspiration in the challenge of creating a new image from a place that has been extensively photographed.  I also find inspiration in re-visiting a place where I have been many times already.  It is like visiting an old friend.  I am reminded of why this places means so much to me while at the same time I am surprised by aspects of it I had not seen before.

One cannot see the entire scope of a location in one visit.  One can only see certain aspects of it.  Furthermore, there is renewed inspiration associated with visiting a favorite place over and over again, just like there is renewed inspiration associated with listening to a favorite musical piece over and over again, or admiring a favorite painting or artwork regularly, or reading a book several times.  Repetition brings a deeper understanding of a specific location or artwork.  One develops a personal relationship with it, a relationship that becomes more intimate as time goes by.

While it is possible to create original art after a single visit to a location, I often find that it is after several visits that I am best able to distance myself from the representations I previously saw until I can start creating my own images.

Alain Briot

Essay and photographs Copyright © Alain Briot 2007
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