Friday, February 22, 2013

Find Your Eye: Journey of Fascination - Creative Breakthrough

Thinking, digging deep, puzzling, researching, studying; those are some of things I’ve been doing for the last few days. I've been trying to write my photo journal for Kat’s Find You Eye: Journey of Fascination course. Our assignment was to look for creative breakthroughs in our photography. This was tough for me, really tough. First, I got hung up on the word creative. I struggled with the idea of my photography being creative.   So, I looked it up the definition.  I have no idea why, but I love words and love to look them up in the dictionary.
  • relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work
  • characterized by originality and expressiveness
See that word "original" that was my problem. When I think of creative I think of someone who has  an original idea and proceeds to produce a specific result. My photography ideas don't seem original to me. When I try something new, it’s usually because I’ve seen another photographer’s work or read about it and wanted to see if I can recreate it. Then, I reread the definition and saw the words "involving the imagination" and "expressiveness." While I was in the dictionary I also looked up breakthrough.
  • A sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development

Put them both together and you have "an important discovery involving imagination or expressiveness."  Now this I could relate to. I have made a few important discoveries with my photography. Maybe not sudden or dramatic, but important none the less!

I would say the very first breakthrough was shortly after I began this bog. I was taking an online journaling class to help with my scrapbooking. It was suggested that we start a blog as a way to practice writing. It didn't take me long to realize there was a whole big world of photography out there. My desire was to take photos "like that!"

Another break through came when I discovered photography classes. I started out with prompt classes and then moved to deeper classes like Kat's Finding Your Eye series. Later, I also took a macro photography class. Not only was I learning about photography and my camera, but I was blessed with meeting many online friends who have a big influence on my photography.

With the idea of discovery in mind, I selected six images from my inspiration folder that I was especially pleased with and that showed growth in my photography. I studied these images asking myself some questions.
What was I doing at the time?
All but one of the six images were taken during times that I was participating in classes, challenges, or blog link-ups. It seems class teachings and viewing the images of others gives me the extra push I need to improve or try something new. As you can imagine during these specific times I was spending a lot of time with my camera.
Was I creating something specific or was it accidental?
Half of the images were taken trying to accomplish something specific by experimenting and half were taken when I was trying to improve photography skills.
What made them special?
The results of learning something new and improving photograph skills doesn’t always turn out well. The images I chose were special because I accomplished what I set out to do and I was pleased with the results. I do believe that I would be able to recreate them again.
There’s one thing for sure if you take one of Kat’s courses, she will make you dig deep and think! That in itself has improved my photography in many ways. Kat has shown me how to put my heart into my photography.


  1. The photos are beautiful. I love the green color in the last one.

  2. Good reflection Cathy. I think even when we gather creative ideas from other sources they still become our own, because they are never exactly like the inspiration source.

  3. Hey Cathy. I think you did great with this topic. Better than you think you did I'm guessing. I love that marble shot-very cool. A clever idea to hit the dictionary for guidance. I'm afraid I sort of read the assignment, condensed it, and didn't hit the finer points the way you did. Good thing it doesn't matter and we can go back and do whatever we want later.
    I agree that the blog community is a fantastic support and inspiration. I believe that's how you and I first touched base. I've also been told by a few photographers that one of the best ways to learn is to find a photo you like, and go out and try to reproduce it (or something similar). I think that's what you're doing.
    JS Bach learned to write music by copying by hand compositions of famous earlier composers. This lets me know you're on the right track.

  4. Great description of the class and your journey that led to your breakthrough. I love how the green marble vanishes.

  5. I like this paragraph: "The results of learning something new and improving photograph skills doesn’t always turn out well. The images I chose were special because I accomplished what I set out to do and I was pleased with the results. I do believe that I would be able to recreate them again."

    That says so much to me about you and where you have grown in this journey. These images you shared in this post are fabulous, and are some of your best my opinion.

    But it is so true that our results don't always turn out like we want. The trick is to get back in that saddle and ride again! Keep working on it. Like you do.

    Great post, Cathy.

  6. I've enjoyed both your writing and your photos as you complete the assignments for your course. I think learning is always a creative endeavor. We all bring something different to the table.

  7. Your becoming a gifted writer and a talented photographer, Cathy. The images with the marbles are stunning. I love to read about your photographic journey.


  8. cathy, i could have written every word in this post.

    i too love to look up words in the dictionary. i think it helps to see the true definition without the baggage that my mind brings to the party. i love seeing how those words came together for your exercise.

    also like you i struggle with finding the line between 'creativity' and 'originality'. it's very thin and i think it moves around alot too. ;) but i have found that the more i worry about it...the less joyful and creative my photography feels. which is such a strange dichotomy.

    and finally, some of my favorite photos have come from online classes and prompts. i love how they inspire me and push me to try new things. and like you said, the added benefit of meeting such wonderful people. just like you. so happy that our paths crossed and look forward to sharing this journey in photography with you. xoxox

  9. Cathy, I loved that you looked up the words in the dictionary. I wish I'd thought of that. "Creative" and "breakthrough" are both big words in my mind that I find difficult to apply to myself and my photography. I think your little-by-little approach is one that most of us can relate to. Learning to get the results you want and feeling that you could get them again, I think, is a real breakthrough.

  10. I love your approach to this exercise - looking up the words and finding a meaning that you could relate to. I'm glad you included your marble image - it is one of my favorites! I agree that the being part of the online photography community has had a huge impact on me and my photography. I learn technique; am inspired to try new things and investigate new subjects because of what others share in this space. And I am so encouraged by the support.

    You dug deep on this one and I enjoyed reading about your thought process.

  11. It's great that you worked to put the exercise into words you could identify with, Cathy. You made it your own! I'm glad that you dug deep and are willing to think about your answers. I believe that's where originality, creativity and heart come from - inside ourselves. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Beautiful images, Cathy! The first one is so dramatic! I like how you broke down the assignment and then took steps to analyze your own work. A good process -- one we can all learn from.

  13. That top photo needs to be hanging somewhere in my home. It is Stunnnnning!
    It's been such a joy watching you develop into an amazing artist Cathy. I am so happy you took us along on your journey.

  14. hi! Nice texture. Your first photo is very beautiful.


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