Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Lust - Seven Deadly Sins Of Photography

If mine eye offends thee - Image © 2007 David Toyne

LUST: Self control and self mastery prevent pleasure from killing the soul by suffocation. Lust is the self-destructive drive for pleasure out of proportion to its worth. Sex, power, or image can be used well, but without knowledge of yourself they tend to go out of control...

The photographic sin of lust is a strange sin indeed. It is often the subject of much discussion amongst photographers. It manifests in the form of an unsuccessful and un-original photographer. One who is so influenced and so enamored with a particular photographers style that they seek to emulate every aspect of it. Their lust to actually be that photographer takes over and they cease to be their own creative entity. This manifests in their endless dry and technical emulation of their idol.

Of course they will only ever manage to be a pale immitation of the person they placed on the pedestal. Worse still, as is the way with all meaningless lust, their loss of an individual visual identity damages them. Their passion for photography dies and the tiny seedling of originality withers in the ground.

To make a distinction from this erroneous path I'll add this footnote: By all means you should look at the work of many other creative individuals. You can draw great inspiration and pleasure from the experience. One can learn and grow simply by being open to a creative experience as represented by another. In fact being honest with yourself for a moment is it not a natural thing to want others to appreciate your photographs? So would it not be hypocritical to not extend that courtesy to others?

This is where it should end though. A healthy love of the work of other people tempered with a knowledge of yourself. Not a lust to be another person at the loss of your own creative identity.

1 comment:

Chris Shepherd said...

Love the image that illustrates this article. A real beauty, loving the series too.