I'm growing tired and some may say cynical about the growth of comment about finding some form of artistic transcendence through landscape photography. At its best it seems to be a sort of art as therapy (which isn't a bad thing of course, simply partial); at worst it panders to the amateurish idea that landscape photography is intrinsically bound up with an escape from everyday realities. Hucksters selling the ’living the dream’ notion to those poor souls stuck in offices.
The reality of creativity is somewhat different of course, there's actually a lot of hard physical and mental labour involved; there's research, self examination and self critique. Much of which has little to do with being ’in the moment’ and much of which is as unromantic as any other aspect of daily life that consumes us.
I also wish to posit the idea that such attitudes tend to result in a self fulfilling artistic prophesy. If we’re looking for transcendence, or a meditative state of mind, where we’re at peace then the results will represent that desire more than any intrinsic truths or clear eyed explorations of the landscape.
Sure, we need clarity of vision and the ability to focus creatively, but I'll let you into a secret, for me that can be achieved through hard work. Finding those cracks in our vision that takes us somewhere new doesn't have to be about ’being in the moment’ we can achieve it through questioning, concentrating and thinking while; and both before and after we are actually making images.
The truth is creativity happens as a result of a ’conversation’ between the conscious and subconscious minds (or however we wish to characterise them) it’s a two way process. We need to feed the conscious mind to stimulate the subconscious.
To be truly creative we must find pleasure in creativity itself, not hoping that external elements will lead us down some hoped for path. The path itself is the subject we should be focussing on. Where it leads us should not be confined by such narrow boundaries, romantic notions and self indulgence.