The Constructed, Invented Image

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Peter Hyatt | 0 Comments

The photography of chance shouldn't be dismissed as 'the lucky shot'. We so often make our own luck. Sometimes after a day in 'the field' we return with little reward for effort. No photographs, no matter how hard we try. The distinguished New York portraitist Greg Heisler once told me that photographers who make excuses are fooling themselves. In the end, you only have yourself to blame and if circumstances such as bad weather conspire against you then you use it to your advantage. Make something of the situation. Don't stress about those elements over which we have no control. Grind and sweat don't necessarily produce the epiphany. Often you walk away empty handed.

Which brings me to the constructed image, as opposed to the discovered, or found image. Sometimes it's fun to start with the blank canvas, just as the writer begins with the blank page. In the end, art should be about ideas. If we see our environment just as the wide-eyed new arrival, then anything is possible. It's a difficult state of mind to maintain, but for a photographer an important one if our work is to retain freshness and vitality. So sometimes we massage and manipulate the images on hand and try to work our magic. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail.

Failure is important. It's how we learn. History is littered with artists and writers who burned their canvases and manuscripts. Photographers need to follow this critical self-editing. If it's not up there, let it go. There's no formula, rather a leap of faith that someone, somewhere, in the cyber-world might be touched by the art we produce. And so this blog is about the invented, constructed image rather than the gorgeous realism of say, a stupendous sunrise. Some of the most recent work at is abstract, where curiosity and serendipity meet. Hopefully it is valid, relevant art. No-one is on hand to give artists boundaries, or to tear them down. We determine our own limits. All we can hope is that our constructions and inventions have something useful to say; something that connects with with the wider world. Or with just one person.



Posted in Failure, Greg Heisler, The Constructed Image, The Invented Image


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