Editor’s Note: This was originally published in 2018. Karen’s latest KelbyOne course, The Complete Guide to Fall Photography, was just released, so be sure to check it out!
Love and awe.
Two of my favorite concepts in all of art and Life itself.
Oh, also pithy. I freakin’ love that word. It means: “a language or style that is concise and forcefully expressive.” Yeah, pithy is cool. And fun to say!
Scott Kelby… thank you for providing a place for all three of my favorite things to thrive in uncountable ways. And I don’t just mean for me – I mean for everyone who loves photography and learning. You are indeed a force of nature for Good.
BTW… I still get such positive comments about this episode of “The Chat” (a show I self-produced a few years ago, just for fun), from all the way back in 2014, I wanted to re-share it here. It was a revelation…
Which brings us in perfect full-circle manner back to Love and Awe; two of the most powerful creative forces in the universe.
Photography is Love Made Visible
That’s a statement, isn’t it? I could also say that “Art” is love made visible. Or creativity, period – if it results in something that is actually visible.
In my opinion, if you want to take a beautiful, defining image that speaks from your soul, you have to fall in love with it. Madly, truly, deeply in love.
A picture is a poem without words. -Horace
People sometimes think I’m a little “woo-woo” about all this. They (mistakenly) think I don’t focus on the technical aspects of photography.
At a certain point in my life, I got busy and focused so MUCH on the technical aspects of my photography that it simply doesn’t lead the show anymore. Sufficiently internalized, technique becomes like muscle memory in photography, just as it does in sports. It’s just there, like a car with a full tank of gas, engine humming, waiting to see where to next. Which, in turn, frees you to focus upon the feeling, vision or the message of your art. I call it: Technique in Service of Vision.
Of course, if a new technique were to present itself that I really wanted to master, then I’d get busy! I’d practice it, repeat it, over and over, till it was embedded into my nervous system, so that I could speak fluently in its language without thinking about it. Only then could I spontaneously create with it.
Mastering technique so you can go do cool stuff with it was basic to every sport and artistic discipline I’ve done to a high level, whether it was acting, singing, figure skating, equestrian sports, downhill skiing, voiceovers. I’m a great believer in “technique will set you free” in most disciplines. But only if it’s set into its proper place; which is “in service of” performing said discipline in a signature fashion – and not as an end unto itself.
Here’s how I see it…(more…)