I'm feeling a need to express how important it is for me to research the work of other artists, and how their art might influence my own practise as I develop.
I seem to use that term 'develop' an awful lot, but I love to learn and know that I will never stop. I'm of the belief that we all have goals whatever our levels of knowledge, capabilities or ambitions might be, but in order to achieve those goals we must be prepared to learn. As I've been enjoying my research, now and again I have come across an artist who has particularly inspired me, and I seem to know instinctively that they're going to help me along my creative path just that little bit further.
Specific influences I will save for another time, but I wanted to share a recent observation I've made on how important it has become for me to learn from professionals who I feel have been worth their weight in gold. We can all pick up our cameras and say we are photographers, and to a certain extent yes we are, but I think it is important to take stock now and again and value those who are masters in their field.
Investing time and money to learn from professionals whether in written format, lectures or out in the landscape in my opinion has been so important in my development, as I'm not only getting to know my camera now, but my visual skills are continuing to grow, and they come as a pair.
I do enjoy the unknown when I'm out in the landscape, particularly when I'm in the Peak District working on my project, but since I've been encouraged to study the weather, more and more I'm finding it's having such an impact on the way I'm looking and responding to the world around me.
While discovering new landscapes are inevitably down to us as individuals to take the time to explore and interpret in our own way, the knowledge and skilful insight through the expert guidance I've received, has been without doubt the best I could have ever hoped for.
Last year I was standing on Bamford Edge eagerly awaiting the commemorative flypast of Vera and Thumper the two Lancaster Bombers, knowing this was an opportunity for me to capture a special moment in history. I opened my bag revealing my lovely new camera and lenses and felt like that person who has all the gear but not a clue what to do with it. Fortunately I had my compact so I was still able to get my photograph.
My reason for finishing on this story, is that while it's not always about what camera or lens you have it's what you want to achieve through your photography, and just how much you are prepared to learn to reach your goals.