Nova Scotia Rise / Canon 1DS mk III, 216sec@ f/16. ISO 100, 20mm
“Vision is always ahead of execution, knowledge of materials is your contact with reality, and uncertainty is a virtue.”- David Bayles
This comes from one of my favorite books, Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles and Ted Orland. I read this book soon after I embarked on my career as a landscape photographer, and it changed the way I thought about my work in the greater scheme of life.
I stopped worrying about comparison, measuring up to expectations and ideals, and trying to be “good.”
I found an inner peace with what I was trying to accomplish, and what it meant to me. Certainly the realities of navigating in a world mostly hostile to art making as a career were extremely difficult, and continue to be so.
But it’s amazing how attitude and perspective can overcome most any obstacle, especially when those obstacles are driven by fear. Uncertainty is a virtue, making each day a new experience and providing opportunities to try and make things that are meaningful for myself and others.
There’s plenty of certainty in our cameras and ability to capture a perfect exposure. But that certainty is hollow, because it’s simply a mechanical process devoid of the simpler things that the camera can’t quite capture. The feeling of the crisp morning air, the smell of the seashore, the moment by moment experience of watching the sun rise. Knowing how to use your gear is fundamental in any attempt to manifest these ideas in a photograph, but vision is what makes it all possible.
“Simply put, art that deals with ideas is more interesting than art that deals with technique.” – David Bayles