Does persistence beat creativity in the journey to be a better photographer. I guess you need a helping of both, but how do we find our own voice and some originality. These are my notes.
This year the number of photographs taken will top over 1.3 trillion. Plus it is growing exponentially. Serious photographers share a phenomenal 350,000 pictures each day on Flickr. How can we ever take pictures that stand out from this enormous crowd.
Trying to be different is not the way according to Finnish-American photographer Arno Minkkinen. Instead the secret to creativity in photography, lies in understanding the operations of Helsinki’s main bus station!
What he is saying is follow a well trodden path, until you feel you can confidently branch out to be yourself.
This sort of makes sense. If you have read Malcolm Gladwell’s book: Outliers, success he maintains comes with commitment. Bill Gates had access to the mainframe computer at the University of Washington, which was just across the street from his high school. He spent many hours there computer programming. Gladwell has estimated that it requires 10,000 hours spent doing one thing, to build up sufficient expertise to really move on and be successful. He also acknowledges that it also requires a bit of luck.
Arno Minkkinen is kind of saying the same thing, stick in the groove and eventually hard work and persistence leads to creativity.
So what does that mean for us photographers. Well my back of a fag packet calculation puts it at about 50,000 images.