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Escaping Brilliance

It is easy to be captivated by a beautiful sunrise or the brilliant colors of sunset. Such moving scenes last for moments and I often must put aside my awe of nature, get working and push my creativity. As an artist, I am not content with merely duplicating the landscape, I am not a Xerox copier; I seek to portray it from my unique perspective. Of course, this is easier said than done, however, when I focus my efforts, the result is art.

I have been to this location on the western shore of New Jersey numerous times and it has always been a challenge to escape its brilliance. On this occasion, I patiently waited until the sun had set. I hiked a short distance in the thick shore grass and located a perspective that included the water reeds; I liked the way they led my eyes up towards the water. I made a series of long exposures to smooth the water and give the clouds some movement.

Waiting for the one minute exposure

I must put aside my emotional reaction to the landscape and remind myself that I am there to produce something more i.e. create my own brilliance. Being spontaneously creative is incredibly difficult and often I feel tremendous pressure working in rapidly changing light or in an inspirational landscape. What image do I see in my mind? What do I create? What lens matches the ideas in my mind? What filters will blend the light properly? The questions are endless; their job is to cajole my creativity.

This is neither lofty nor esoteric; standing in front of a brilliant landscape and thinking, "I can’t beat this," means I have already declared my failure without even making an effort. In other words, if I tell myself I cannot do something then I will most certainly fail. Instead, I accept the challenge and do what is necessary to portray my vision. Once I escape the brilliance and my own stumbling blocks, I am ready to use all of my energy to get the job done.


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