Inspiration is the greatest form of flattery

Daniel j Gregory Carmel Image#1

Sometimes when you stand on the shoulders of those who came before you, you can see farther than you ever thought possible. Standing on Weston Beach at Point Lobos forces you to ask a very big question. Do I want to see the world through my eyes or try to make my eyes see Westons, Adams, Baer, and countless others. You can’t help it. After all you are standing on Weston Beach. Some of the most iconic images from the most iconic photographers in the 20th century were created in and around Carmel. You can smell it in the air when you are down there. You can see the tones, shapes and images when you close your eyes.

So you are given a choice, can you find something of you in a place that inspired such great work or try to find and recreate their work. Can you dig deep to find your inspiration or do you settle for imitation. The work of those great West Coast photographers was inspiration not imitation. They didn’t stand on the rocks and record an exact imitation of what they saw in nature. They were moved and inspired to connect with nature and show something beyond what we see. Sometimes a rock is not a rock and a pepper is not a pepper.

So, I doubt the truth of imitation as the greatest form of flattery–it’s not. Inspiration is. When you look at your images, you should be able to see the difference.  If not, climb back on those shoulders and look off into the horizon and create me the picture only you can see.

May 3, 2012

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