Derail track. Don't get derailed from your goal.

I have written about this before, but I feel it is time to revisit it, maybe from a slightly different point of view. We have constraints on almost everything we do. Usually we try to find ways to avoid or relax the constraints. I am suggesting that they can actually be useful, Working within constraints can make us a better and more creative artist.


Constraints are anything that bounds us, that limits what we can do. We all have them. You aren’t able to go on a 6 month art sabbatical because you have to work to earn a living. I would like to get the latest super mega pixel camera – no, I need it, really. But I can’t afford it. I feel limited because I don’t have a great wide angle zoom or super telephoto.

Wherever we turn we bump up against constraints. Time and money are the overriding classics. And there are technology limitations and constraints imposed by our families, school, and job. Maybe the inability to travel to the locations you want. Everything seems to be conspiring against us.

They seem to limit us as artists

I was having a discussion recently with a friend I respect a lot. A very good professional photographer who you would know. He was observing that he has always taken multiple camera systems with him on shoots, along with all the associated lenses, batteries, etc. But he is getting older and all that slows him down and makes the experience less pleasant.

Isn’t this common for photographers? We feel like we have to have LOTS of equipment. You may need that 600mm for a bird shot. You may need that tilt/shift lens to do architectural photography. The portable flash system would come in handy for portraits. Having a small mirrorless camera is good for travel photos, but you might want that medium format system for fine art scenes you find. We always need more gear.

How can we capture the image we want unless we have that exact, perfect piece of equipment? Well, maybe we have to think. More on this later.

How to work around our constraints

We have freedoms of choice in our lives. Don’t have enough money? Earn more. Don’t have time? Get out of the working world and use your time for yourself. Can’t carry all your gear? Get a photo van and outfit it with storage for all your equipment. Drive it to your shoots. Can’t carry all you need to a location? Workout hard to get strong enough to carry a huge backpack. Family taking up too much time? Cut them loose.

How’s this working for you so far? Yeah, I thought so. Doesn’t work for me, either. We have choices we can make, but I can’t snap my fingers and wish up a life of luxury to feed my art desires.

I guess we had better resolve to accept most of our constraints. They are there. They are real. We don’t have a magic wand to wave to make them go away. Sure you can adjust your life goals to better accommodate your art. But we will probably not have unlimited money or time or equipment or travel opportunities. That’s life.

So we have to deal with our constraints and work with them and still create our art.

Turn it to your benefit

In some types of self defense programs you are trained to use an attacker’s momentum against them. That is sort of what I am advocating. Our constraints seem to be working against us and limiting our freedom and ability. Use them for our good instead of fighting against them.

Constraints can be a road block or a creativity enhancer. It is a matter of attitude. Don’t sit around moaning because there is a constraint in the way. Accept it as a challenge. Use it to rise to a new level.

An example of constraints

A story to illustrate. In 1974 a young upcoming director named Steven Spielberg was hired to direct a movie called Jaws. It was the first major motion picture to be actually filmed in the ocean. It turned out to be beset with problems. One of the producers later said if they had read the book twice, they would have not made the movie when they realized how difficult it would be.

There are many interesting examples of constraints with this movie, but one in particular fascinates me. The mechanical sharks turned out to be a nightmare to make work. Even when they were working it took a team of 14 “puppeteers” to operate them. The sharks caused so many production problems that they had to be cut out of most of the first half of the movie. The result was that in the final product, the hidden presence of the shark, combined with John Williams brilliant music, built much more tension and drama than their original plan. The movie was a blockbuster hit and still viewed today.

It was made better because of the constraints that had to be overcome. Spielberg later said of the difficulties that “The film went from a Japanese Saturday matinee horror flick to more of a Hitchcock, the less-you-see-the-more-you-get thriller.”

Our constraints

We may not be making a multi-million dollar movie, but we encounter constraints all the time in our every day lives. How we deal with them makes or breaks what we get.

Maybe you can’t fit a photo safari to Iceland, Africa, New Zealand,… (fill in your blank) into your life or budget. Does that mean you should put up your camera and sulk and not take pictures? Of course not. Shoot where you are and what you find. The reality is you will have more insights on familiar areas than you do seeing a tourist spot for the first time. Learn to really see what is around you. Let your curiosity lead you to an attitude of awe about what you find.

You’re a fine art photographer and you feel like you need to have a medium format system to shoot 100MPixels or more with great dynamic range. So you should sit and wait until you can afford to put $20,000 or more into a good medium format system? No. That is something you defined. Get out and work.

Most fine art photographers I know do not shoot medium format, at least not exclusively. The fact that they do not shoot it exclusively means they recognize that it is not always required. They can do excellent and very salable work with their DSLR. It is more about vision and insight and technique than it is about technology.

Do the best you can with what you have. Maybe someday you can upgrade, but that will not change your vision or your style. It will just make your images printable at a larger size.

I could use many other examples of constraints. Many are common to most of us and some are unique to each of us individually. Whatever yours is, embrace it and work with it.

Become a problem solver

Embrace it? Yes. You have to live with it, so use it to your benefit.

Working around constraints is a problem solving exercise. We have to think. We use our creativity to come up with an even better solution to what we wanted to do originally. Like Spielberg in Jaws.

Looking to shoot a scene, but it would take a super telephoto that you don’t have? Re-evaluate your composition. Maybe there is a different POV that you can shoot with your 200mm. Or get up and move closer.

Working on a composition that requires a super wide angle to bring in all the lines and shapes you envision? Re-think how to make the image using your 24mm. Maybe get closer. Maybe re-compose it to change the relationship of the elements.

This is a significant part of creativity. Creativity is not just coming up with wild new ideas that no one else has ever thought of. A lot of it is solving problems to remove obstacles in order to realize your work. Your vision should transcend your constraints.

So when an obstacle or constraint presents itself, don’t let it derail you. Put your creativity to work on it. It can be a good thing. It can stretch you and grow you as an artist. Find a creative workaround. Let it spur you to produce something better than you originally envisioned. If you react to it positively and exercise your creativity, you may end up being thankful for the constraint.

Out There

Ice and reflections on a cold winter day

My previous article discussed being an explorer based on curiosity. I absolutely, intensely believe that. But I don’t want to leave the impression that most of the exploration can be done in books and videos and trips to museums and even on the computer. For what I do, I have to be out there. Out there in the outdoors. Thinking about images is great, but you haven’t created art until you actually make an image.

Exploration can happen anywhere

Exploration is partly a mental activity. Feeding your mind with new ideas and new images causes growth, new connections. This is a vital activity for artists – and for everyone if you care about growing. There is a limit to it, though.

Creativity is a balance between thinking and doing. Thinking allows us to consider new possibilities and imagine what we would do. Actually getting out shooting lets us test the ideas, see unexpected things, apply the ideas and discover new ones.

The craft of making something balances and perfects the ideas of what we might do. It is a feedback loop. They reinforce each other. Thinking new ideas helps us see more possibilities when we are out shooting. Capturing images helps refine what works and doesn’t. Then when we see what works we discover new possibilities to try another time. Putting theory to practice is necessary to perfect both.

I shoot outdoor images

At some point we have to stop just thinking about what we want to do and actually go do it. Get off the couch and out the door.

Occasionally I set aside time to travel someplace specifically to shoot pictures. That is a joy. But i don’t get to do it as much as I would like. Some reasons are:

  1. It is expensive
  2. I have to be at my studio to process images and take care of all the things that need to be done.
  3. New places are enjoyable but I’m a visitor there. I feel the need to find fresh images where I live.

So I force myself to get out frequently and explore in my own backyard, so to speak. I consider it great discipline to find new, interesting images in familiar areas. And I do find many that I consider good.

I will confess that I am naturally something of a couch potato. Getting out in all kinds of weather is a significant act of will. Especially when you consider that where I live the temperatures can range from -10F to 110F. It can be easy to convince myself that is is just not fun. But it is a habit I force myself to do. When I am home, then 4 to 5 days a week I go our walking with my camera.

Yesterday, for instance, it was 2F and snowing and we had about 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I walked over 4 miles. I’m not bragging. Probably many of you do much more. My point is that it is a conscious decision that I will go out with my camera and explore every chance I get. I am somewhat amazed at what I find.

When I am looking at an image I like, I always remember what the conditions were when I shot it, but that is not a factor in my evaluation of the worth of the image itself. The image must stand on its own. But I sometimes find the best pictures in the worst weather.

Practice makes perfect

Exploration is largely a mental activity. Feed your mind. Take in new ideas and possibilities all the time and assimilate the learnings into your vision. But you have to do it, too. Make images. Express the creative ideas you formed. Realize the idea in a finished product for your viewers. It can be hard.

In his e-book “10 Tips for Aspiring Photographers”, William Patino said

One thing that I feel greatly helped my learning was the amount of time I was willing to invest in being outdoors, playing with my camera and observing light and the land.

Invest the time. Be out looking and feeling. Getting good at anything takes time. Practice. Play.

I find that creative ideas tend to be rather vague. They tend to come as an idea of something that would be interesting. But actually making it happen can sometimes be difficult. It may require planning or more research or travel or, typically, many attempts to capture the idea in a real image.

When I was working on my Speeding Trains project I threw away hundreds of attempts before I learned how to capture the impression of motion and speed and power and presence that I envisioned. Even after I sort of figured it out, my “hit rate” was probably about 1 in 10. Practice makes perfect. Or at least better. 🙂

Believe you are very lucky

Being an artist is hard work. If anyone tells you different, they haven’t tried it. You have to create a huge body of work and continually refresh it. You have to deal with rejection. Gatekeepers are everywhere proclaiming themselves to be the arbiter of taste and style and you are not fit to be allowed in to their select club. You will want to give up. As an artist you have to believe in yourself and your work. Regardless of what others say or do. Push on.

It seems a contradiction, but on the other hand, many people admire and look up to you. They dream of being able to step out of their drab world and create. To have the freedom to make art and tell the world they don’t care if no one else likes it, because it pleases them. We seem an independent rebel, living the creative artistic life. They are right.

In a private correspondence my friend Les Picker said:

It’s like a colleague of mine once said: There is no such thing as a bad day for a nature photographer. We’re out there. We’re walking the path. How fortunate we are!

So when it’s 0F and I am feeling frostbite or it’s 100F and I’m about to pass out from heat exhaustion, I remind myself that I am out creating and following my vision. How can this be bad?

My vision leads me to shoot outdoors. So this is where I have to go. I can’t cherry pick and just say “Oh, today is not totally perfect , so I will just stay in”. That would never get anything done. Get out in it. Get dirty or wet or hot. Look past the conditions and discover what is there to see.

Being an artist is about seeing. I have to be out in the place I plan to shoot before I can see. I want to make art, not just think about art.

Your mileage may vary

It sounds like I am saying that you have to shoot landscape scenes to be an artist. Not at all. I think the principles apply to anything you do. If you do portraits, do them, a lot. Don’t just think about doing them. If your thing is commercial or food or street photography or abstract still life studio shots, it doesn’t matter. Do it. Practice. Get in the reps.

My thing involves outdoor photography. I have to kick myself out the door to shoot. If you do your work in the studio then make yourself get up and go do the work there.

You’re not an artist unless you are creating art.

Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

Andy Warhol

The image this week

I mentioned suffering in the cold. That is the time of year I’m in as I write this. What would be worth going out in that kind of weather? Well, things like this. I love patterns and reflections in ice. It is a very interesting subject to me. This kind of shot makes me forget the discomfort and think of the beauty in unlikely places. I hope you get out and find things like this, too.

When Do You Make a Picture?

Silhouetted tree at sunset

When do you make a picture? Have you thought about that? On the surface, it seems an ambiguous or simplistic question. I have been asking myself this, though.

Time, place?

I could be flippant and say I make pictures Tuesdays in the canyons west of my home. That is not true, though. I capture images at least 5 days a week, in general. And I make pictures most places I go. There is no special place for making images.

Looking for things to satisfy my curiosity is not about a time or place. Even traveling to an “exceptional” destination is a special case of just making images wherever I am, of whatever interests me, whenever I have a chance.

The click

OK, so you could say I make a picture whenever I click the shutter of the camera. While it is true that the shutter release is the event that causes the recording of the data in front of the lens, I have written before about sometimes needing to think about and process the data before I am done.

When I go out shooting and come back with 200 images on my memory card, does that mean I have made 200 “pictures”? No, but it is a subtle semantic distinction. My answer would be that I have 200 new possible pictures at this point. However, I am going to go through them, cull out the defective ones, decide which of the duplicates I want to keep, and then try to decide if there is any merit in the ones that are left.

When all is done, maybe I would end up with 0-10 that are worth doing something with. Your mileage may vary. Mine does, too, depending on time and place and my mood. Note that I still have to do things with them. In my mind, they are not “pictures” yet, since I am not ready to show them to anyone.

Post processing

So, of course I have to post process the ones I have kept so far. This may only involve simple exposure processing, especially corralling highlights and shadows, color correction, and contrast adjustment. Typically there may be some spotting and minor blemish removal.

At this point I “may” have a picture. For straightforward scenes, this may be enough. I am done. It may be beautiful or interesting and no more than the literal scene before the camera. A lot of pictures are just that.

Deciding what it is and it is going to be

But not always. Sometimes an image is trying to tell me that it is something more. It may take a while for me to hear it. This often manifests as a discomfort I can’t quite identify. A suspicion that I am missing something.

When this happens during the initial culling process, I usually keep the frames I am struggling with. I might not be able to articulate why, but I know I’m not ready to eliminate them yet.

Even after the image is processed and is a nice picture on its own, sometimes it keeps trying to talk to me. Deep down inside, I know I have not understood or brought out all it means to me.

Sometimes I realize I have been capturing images of a certain subject or mood. I may recognize a theme that is emerging. Recognizing it helps me identify and clarify a truth I was not consciously aware of. This could put me on track to follow the idea for a while as a project. With these nagging images in context, I learn more about why they were talking to me. All seems different. Sometimes I don’t even need to modify the images more. Just understanding what I was feeling may be enough.


And sometimes I recognize an image is an interesting piece, but not complete in itself. I will often file these away as raw material, expecting to revisit it is the future and decide what it needs to say what it wants to say.

There are times when it comes to me and I know that these pieces have to fit together in a certain way to create a new image. This can be satisfying, fulfilling, exciting. It is a true creative journey.

It is time consuming but often very rewarding to spend sessions in Photoshop playing with various combinations of pieces and parts, doing “what if?” games. These often end up in “failure”. Failure in the sense that I did not create a new picture. But it is seldom actually failure because I explored ideas and tested new things. It often sparks new ideas for the future.

Disconnected from capture

This comes around to an idea I have presented before. Sometimes I have to let an image age before it becomes whole. It can take me an indeterminate time to recognize what the image wants or needs to be.

Images are raw material until I become comfortable with how they should be expressed and presented. This is a separate creative process from image capture and a necessary part of how I make a picture. It is not until the end of this journey that I feel I have a picture to share with the world.

Today’s image

The image with this article is a minor example of what I describe. I was fortunate to find this scene late one winter afternoon in what I considered an unlikely place in the back country of northern Oklahoma. I’m a sucker for lone bare trees silhouetted against the sky.

I liked it, but I know it was not “done”. A few months later I added the birds, because I felt they built and reinforced the mood of the image and added some dynamic interest. Just today when I came back to it again after about another 6 months, I saw I wanted to eliminate some distracting foreground elements, crop it to emphasize the sky, and make it overall higher contrast and more saturated. I’m good with it – for now. 🙂

Going too far

Northern Colorado Front Range. Heavily processed from original.

We often hear this as a challenge or criticism. “You’re going too far” Meaning, back off. But as an artist, I don’t think I go far enough. I need to push myself to be always going too far. That is how we explore the limits

Too timid

I have written about this before, but it is so important I think it deserves a refresh. In a previous article I encouraged us to go “far enough“. But I think now this is too timid an attitude. We should push “it”, whatever it is, too far.

I know I tend to have too much focus on the actual captured data of the file and what the scene really looked like. Time helps. I tend now to wait to process images until they have aged enough to let me distance myself from the experience of being there.

But still, I tend to hold back and stay too true to the original. I am learning to push beyond to create something else.

As a bonus, this short video by Matt Kloskowski might encourage you to think about editing in new ways. He does not talk much about going too far, but he shows an unconventional approach. The kind of thing I am talking about when I recommend pushing beyond the captured data.

Push it

I know I’ve said it before, but I find truth in something John Paul Caponigro said “You don’t know you’ve gone far enough until you’ve gone too far.”

This is something I need to take to heart. The engineer in me tends to make the image look like the literal, original scene. That ends up creating record shots. Sometimes all I need is a record shot, but that is rare. I have to push it more to make the image into art. Into something interesting that goes beyond the original.

For example, I live in Colorado. If I shoot a beautiful scene in the mountains, so what? Anyone could have stopped there that day and taken the same picture with their cell phone. What sets mine apart? It often will be something more than just the literal scene. It has to rely on my interpretation of what I saw.

Be decisively indecisive

So when I suggest going too far, I am not speaking about relationships or physical safety, but my interpretation of the image. I am discovering more and more with time that images can take a great deal of manipulation.

A raw file from a good camera contains a tremendous amount of data that can be exploited. Editing in Lightroom is completely non-destructive. We can re-edit at will with absolutely no loss. Likewise, although Photoshop is inherently destructive, there are processing techniques that can be used to manipulate images with no damage and with the ability to re-edit in the future. I strongly advise learning and adopting these techniques.

Yes, I know of good artists who can say they know exactly what they want to do with an image and it is OK to do destructive edits, because they will never change their mind in the future. That is not me. Every time I revisit an image I usually tweak it some. Sometimes a lot.

Does that mean I am indecisive? Perhaps. I wouldn’t argue the point. I look at it as an evolving artistic judgment. What I see and feel in an image can change over time. So I consciously decide to use techniques to give me the maximum flexibility to change my mind later. Decisively indecisive.

Don’t worry about breaking it

Let me use Lightroom (“Classic”, because I consider it the only real Lightroom) as an example. I said that all editing in Lightroom is non-destructive. Do you really understand that?

Lightroom uses a marvelous design that always preserves the original data unchanged and keeps all edits as a separate set of processing instructions. Don’t believe me? Here is a portion of actual data from the XMP sidecar file of an image I edited today:

crs:WhiteBalance=”As Shot”

If you are familiar with Lightroom, you should recognize these adjustments as the contents of the Basic adjustment panel. I’m not sure what the “2012” suffix means on them, but probably a process version. Anyway, this is literal data copied from the XMP file. It is an industry standard format called XML markup. It is just text. If I change a slider, the text value is changed. These text values are read and re-applied when I open the file in Lightroom. The original pixel data is never altered. You cannot destroy the image by editing it in Lightroom.

What are the limits?

There are limits, but not absolutes. If we boost the exposure too much, at some point we will introduce an unacceptable amount of noise. If we sharpen too much we will introduce artifacts around edges. We can make such a high contrast image that it cannot reproduce properly on screen or in print. We can increase saturation to the point that it is out of gamut for the screen or print.

Most of these are sort of a judgment call by the artist of what the acceptable limit is for the intended application.

But these are just physical limits of what we can do with the tools. The bigger problem, at least for me, is what am I willing to do?

It’s our mindset we need to break

I am the one who usually limits the extents of the changes I will make. I am still too much of a left-brained engineer who is constrained by my memory of what the scene actually looked like.

One way I can tell this is happening is that it is common for me to push an image further every time I revisit it. Upon seeing it again, I think,”that is nice, but I can go further”. And I do. Sometimes the image turns into something different from what I shot. I love it when that happens.

But it is a constant struggle to give myself permission to do it. I am afraid of going too far.

Knowing how the tools work and how to non-destructively edit, I should feel free to slam adjustments to the limits just to see what happens. Then back off to the “right” value for the image. I find that the “right” value tends to be higher if I have over-corrected than it is if I come up from the original. I think this is what Mr. Caponigro means when he says “You don’t know you’ve gone far enough until you’ve gone too far.”

Give yourself the freedom to go too far, than back off as necessary. I will try to do the same.

Not for everyone

I know this advice is not for everyone. I still see photographers who say they pride themselves in getting the image “right” in camera and doing minimal editing. That’s their style and their values, so good for them. But if “right” means the closest match possible to the real scene, that seems very limiting. I think we have progressed well beyond the stage of assuming that a photography must be a true representation of reality.

At least, that is my assumption. I operate from the point of view that I am as free to creatively imagine the contents of my frame as a painter is to create on a blank canvas. Even plein air painters take a lot of liberties with what they choose to include or exclude, what colors to use, etc. Some even use the plein air session as a sketch. Later in the studio they refine and complete it according to their interpretation.

That is basically what I do. Some images require more interpretation than others, and my tools allow more freedom for manipulation. One reason I think I could never paint is there is no “undo” with paint. 🙂

Go too far

So I am discovering that what works for me is to consciously push my adjustments beyond what I first think is right. Yes, it may create a bizarre effect and I have to back it off. But I often find that the new setting I back it off to is more extreme than I thought was correct originally. Seeing the extreme helped me understand a new way to view the image.

If you do it right, you can’t damage the image. Give yourself permission to experiment.


The image with this article is an example. This is the mountains and plains about 5 miles from my home. It seems like every time I go back to the image, I need to tweak it a little. And I always push it a little further. I do not back off of what I already did. I think I am nearly to “far enough”.

A Handful of Days

Heavy Snowstorm. A peak day when everything clicked.

The best images come from a handful of days. I have observed this from my own work and I have come to recognize it as a pattern. This is both comforting and frightening.

Ups and downs

Our creativity and our productivity is not linear and always increasing. It is more like the stock market: generally rising, but always fluctuating – especially lately. We can’t control our passion and interests much more than we can control the stock market.

I have heard photographers almost brag about the number of shots they take at a location and the percentage of “keepers” they get. Good for them, if that’s the way they work best. It doesn’t work for me. I do not follow metrics or rules. Quantity is not my goal.

Something has to draw me to set up and snap the shutter. I have to believe there is something there worthwhile of capturing and editing.

Beauty isn’t enough

I hate to admit the number of times I have been to a beautiful location and felt like I had to take a number of pictures. Even though I wasn’t really feeling any great draw to the scene. It’s just that I knew it was beautiful so I had to shoot some.

What do I end up with in those situations? Usually a few nice record shots of the location – and a lot of throw-aways. It is a shame to throw away nice pictures of a beautiful scene, but the reality is, there is no substance to them. They are just looking at the surface of the scene.

While I’m at it, let me vent a pet peeve. When it is known that you are a photographer, everyone around feels compelled to guide you to shots they think you should take. “You’ve got to go here and shoot this! You’ll love it!” No, actually I don’t. Maybe, occasionally, very rarely yes. But these are their visions; their beauty and meaning. It seldom aligns with my interests. So I politely shoot a few frames and thank them. Sigh. I’m better now. 🙂

Don’t be discouraged

If beauty is not enough, then what is?

My friend Cole Thompson once said “I used to think that vision was what inspired a great image. Now I believe that it’s both vision and passion; something that just gets you excited and you can’t wait to work on it.” I think he hit on a great truth here.

Sometimes you have a vision of something that would make a great image. Or perhaps you are at a location where you know you could make a pleasing picture. That’s great, but if it is not touching something within you that gets you excited, it is just another pretty picture.

A few weeks ago I was at a favorite area up in the Colorado mountains, a historic old mining area up at timberline. I love the location and the sights there and I have shot many images here that I like a lot. This time, nothing. Oh I shot, of course, I was there. But nothing was inspiring me. The images were technically OK, but not exciting me. So far I have not pulled any of them for a portfolio or collection.

This can be discouraging. I feel like a failure for not being able to “make” a great image in such a location. But if I’m not feeling inspired, the rest is just mechanical image gathering. That was not one of the high value days.

When we’re “on”

But then there are those times when we do feel that passion. Those times it seems we can’t turn around for being called to shoot something. Everywhere we look it seems we can make an interesting image.

What’s the difference? A lot of it is how we feel about the subject or area or theme that day. Or maybe how we feel about our self. When everything resonates with us it just clicks. Everything works. At those times we get a high percentage of images we like. And more that we are drawn to and only realize later why and they become even more special.

These times are is like Cole said – I can’t wait to shoot and I can’t wait to work up the images to see what I will get. I’m loving it. Things are flowing and I’m in the “zone”. Images seem to be competing for my attention. I can’t shoot fast enough. Those peak days make it all worthwhile. Adrian has a very good description of the sensation here.

It’s not work for hire

Let me point out I am talking about the fine art images I take for my artistic expression. These only have to satisfy me.

If I were doing a commercial shoot for a client, I would have to produce good results at the scheduled time, regardless of how I was feeling about it. Luckily for me, this is not the situation I am in.

I do not worry about good, consistent, professional results. I want to seek those peak times where I can produce special things. That is what drives me.

Embrace those days

Let me suggest, to both you and to me, that rather than getting discouraged that we aren’t always at a peak, instead joyfully embrace those exciting times when everything comes together. That special handful of days. It is a game of quality, not quantity.

Sure, it can be disappointing when we have a great opportunity and we come away empty. Just accept that it was not the right time for you to be there. Another day it may be different.

Trust your intuition. That is your guide to creativity. Listen to what it is telling you. It may tell you something completely different from what your logical mind says. If you are trying to make art, logic will probably not get you there. Producing a few great images is much better than a huge stack of mediocre ones.