Philosophy of Creativity

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by The Digital Mage, Jan 22, 2008.

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  1. The Digital Mage

    The Digital Mage TPF Noob!

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    Hey - new in here - this is my first post. I dive deep. I try to get to the 'basement' with my thinking. Sometimes, I think I come close...

    We've all heard the story of the five people that witnessed (whatever), were questioned by the police and told five different stories, because they were five different people. Likewise, of the old police car for sale - five men saw it, five men had their own ideas about it and then we are asked if there is one car, or five... or as many cars as there are people, that see it.

    It's the same with every image you show. There are as many images in that one image as there are people, that notice that image. No two people will evaluate that image in the same manner because no two people share the exact same values, concerning images.

    One man's garbage, is another man's gold.

    Once I said, "There are no absolutes." Then I realized I had concocted a classic non-sequiteur! Now I say there is but one absolute - one thing known by all and with which none, will disagree: I AM.

    1 + 1 = 2. Absolute... right? No deviation is possible... or, is it?

    When 1 is a quantity of plutonium, equal to or greater than critical mass / 2 and less than critical mass, 1 + 1 = KA-BLOOIE, and 2, well, it never quite happens .) And yes, I know there would not really be an explosion, only a meltdown, but 2 would not happen, just the same.

    It would seem that there are two 'schools' of thought - 1) do it by the numbers; follow the rules and 2) just do what you feel; express your self.

    Ah, but good and bad are perceptions, and nothing more. Witness, if you will, how those poor, poor men that died while destroying the WTC actually believed what they did was good and so right that they actually gave up their lives, to get it done.

    If we are making a certain grade of chromium steel... the result is black or white - we made the exact compound we were after, or we did not. Photography (like all the arts) is not an exact science... the results are always some shade of grey. (pun intended)

    When what will be liked and/or accepted varies, and varies greatly with the individual that views the work, how can there be any 'rules?' When I am certainly unable to adopt your likes and dislikes... how can I make something intended to please you?

    My answer is simple - perhaps overly so:

    I express my self, in everything I make. I realize that is what I am doing - all I am able to do, with any honesty and/or certainty. I make what I like... obviously!

    I wonder if any here would care to share their thoughts on this, rather thorny subject? It's OK to bleed a little. As long as progress is the result, taking the thorn was worth it.

    What do you do? Do you try to 'do it by the numbers' or do you 'let it all hang out?' Do you follow the rules, or make your own?

    I won't say what I do. Go here:

    http://www.MageProductions.com

    and find out for yourself!
     
  2. Awww.... bummer. I was SO excited when I read the title of this thread, I had really hoped to have an interesting conversation about creativity.

    Turns out it's just an ad to drive traffic to your site, so you can sell prints.

    I also take offense at the description of the 911 hijackers as "poor, poor men".

    Saw your images, fair enough, not my taste. But we had a recent thread in which a number of us concluded that there is a market for saturated landscapes.
     
  3. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Well why don't we make this topic worthwhile??? When creating a picture is not getting the exact image you want to get perfection? Is that not exactly what art is?
     
  4. The Digital Mage

    The Digital Mage TPF Noob!

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    No, dude. Your PERCEPTION of my post is that it is an add... That perception is lacking, in the extreme. If I was to take my time to place adds I seriously doubt I would do it here, where everybody takes their own pics.

    Simple reasoning - you might try it, sometime, before insulting me (or anyone else) and (potentially) making an enemy, in the process.

    The most common error, here or anywhere, is to assume that others are like yourself. We are not. Your accusation speaks of your perception, which certainly is based on the assumption that I am like you because you lack any knowledge of me, whatsoever.

    Likewise, your choice to take offense at my description of those poor, poor men. Those men were filled with hatred. Those men lacked the courage to apply their version of what is right and what is wrong as liberally to themselves as they do to others, or preferably more so.
    Those men were herd animals, experiencing the horror I call "us and them" thinking, so that they can learn to do better. They were poor, indeed!

    Is your choice to take offense not based in the mentality, of the herd? I think it is.

    You and I can not communicate. We share nothing.

    A wise man makes few enemies. I do not want to make one, of you. Ignore my posts, please. What they contain will not make sense to you until you have lived several, if not many more lifetimes. You are not a bad person. You are where you need to be, doing what you need to do.

    God speed.
     
  5. The Digital Mage

    The Digital Mage TPF Noob!

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    Perfection... lol

    Perfection is like tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. It is always today. Tomorrow is but a concept; something to which we refer, knowing full well it is just an idea.

    If you were perfect... you would know all and, therefore, you would no longer be able to learn. A bargain in which I, for one, would not care to participate! Something that is perfect, by definition, can not be improved. Without the prospect of progress, what is the point of existence?

    And art... I ask again, is art doing it by the numbers... or the expression of the self?
     
  6. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    At the same time Mage, Creativity is not a certainty either. What is creative and new to some, may be played out and normal for others. So in order to better answer your question, how are you defining creativity? I believe art is a self expression of ones self. Though expressing yourself has no boundaries or limits (besides the legality of course but for the sake of this lets keep on topic), photography holds its own spot for this kind of work. In other sides of the art form, going by the numbers, or rules of photography, makes you work easier to follow by the general audience. Now of course, some may not find it easier to locate your subject if you have lines leading their eye to it, and some may prefer the subject in the center of the frame (which was definitely the norm for the older artwork). But for the general audience, they will find it helpful to have lines lead your eye to the subject and they may find it more appealing and easier to keep focused if the subject is a little off center.

    What I think you are doing is looking for an absolute answer to an opinionated question. At the beginning, you pointed out that we are all individuals and thus will have different feelings looking at the same piece of art. Which like you said, nobody can disagree because we are all different. So in short, Art for the sake of art can have no guidelines if your intentions are to create for your own pleasure or fulfillment; when creating for a general audience (lets define general as say this forum, or a group of photographers) following guidelines will make it more appealing and more acceptable. If creating art for a non photography experienced person, then certain rules can be overlooked or outweighed by saturation, or a "pretty" scene.
     
  7. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    just a note... First this forum does not allow political discussion so no more WTC talk period.

    Second try not to get wound up or this thread will end up locked.
     
  8. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Personally, I think the whole concept of a "Philosophy of Creativity" is just a lot of blah blah blah.

    Why?

    Because the entire though process doesn't help you one dad-gum bit. There is no way that playing some intellectual word game will take somebody with limited creativity and turn him into Hieronymus Bosch or Salvador Dali.

    You look at somebody like Joey Lawrence... most of us can't just download the Dragonizer plugin for Photoshop, consider our intellectual take on creativity, shoot a picture of some teen-wannabe model and end up with photos that blow everybody's mind... it just doesn't work like that.
     
  9. danir

    danir No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The role of discussing creativity is not just to find methods for making someone creative, just like sociology and philosophy of science is not for the sake of improving science.
    The question of what is percieved as creative by most people is an interesting psychological question.
    That said I agree there isn't much new said in this thread yet.

    Dani.
     
  10. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    I agree completely! I don't feel that knowledge, unless applied, is useless, which, from what I can read, is what Sabbath is saying. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is the highest of academic pursuits IMO. Of course, I am biased, as we all are.
     
  11. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't claim that I am right, I am just somebody with an opinion. I probably make a lot less sense than most others who are posting here, but it is just my take on things.

    Artisic creativity is something that either exsists, or it doesn't.

    Knowledge for the sake of knowledge may indeed be the highest academic pursuit, but that doesn't make it the most IMPORTANT pursuit, IMHO.

    I think that the best way we can understand the creative process is to CREATE.

    I spend a lot of my time reading and studying art history. I have been buying and watching every college-level DVD course "The Teaching Company" (this isn't an ad, you can google them yourselves) has, and they are giving me an education that I never got in school. I have been learning about the art of western europe, the Dutch masters, the Italian masters, the age of impressionism and much more. I have been studying the paintings as presented, and making trips to every museum I can get to in the midwest to see these works in person.

    As much as I enjoy learning about the work, about the stories behind the pictures and the lives of the artists, about the symbolism that is presented and the context in which they were painted, none of this academic study (such as it is) will tell me one little bit about how somebody like Gian Lorenzo Bernini could look at a hunk of marble and see Apollo & Dafne (Click to see statue)... because that is something that is inside of the artist, something that simply cannot be understood or quantified by mere words.

    The one thing I have learned above all else by my recent studies in the arts is that there is a "spark" that one has... and some just have a lot more of it than others.

    Understanding the spark isn't about words, it is about looking at the work its self and SEEING what the artist saw... even if you would have never seen it without the artists guiding hand.

    Trying to quantify that spark with words seems like, to me, kind of a waste of time... time that I think would be better spent looking at the spark that exists in actual work of others, as well as creating on our own.

    But that's just me.

    And, as always, just because I have an opinion doesn't mean I am right...
     
  12. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    Agreed Completely!

    Like you and I both say, this is our unique opinion, but I disagree with this. Because all knowledge has the ability to produce a change, whether in ourselves or the world around us, I say that knowledge for the sake of knowledge is the most important of things. If only because one can argue, quite successfully, that all knowledge is indeed applied at some level.

    Agree and disagree. Being a psychology PhD student, I feel that everything can be studied and understood at least a pseudo-scientific level. To someone without that "spark", it could be helpful to put that into words, if only for more people having a true appreciation of all art. But, I do agree that to fully understand the creative process one must engage in it.

    Just the act of looking for/at the spark and trying to see either what the artist saw or what you see itself could be called quantifying it. And as I stated earlier, if that spark can be better understood by others without such a spark, then we could possibly widen the influence of art and the appreciation of it as well. This is obviously conjecture, but it could help the current state of art programs and the like.

    Same here! :)
     
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