Of course I’m talking about photography and the kind of “Visual Journey” we are all undertaking. And I pose the question seriously. How indeed, does one know when one has actually arrived at the station?
As a photographer learns what makes an image good for him he will have successes and failures. Images that he that ought were going to be amazing sometimes turn out to be slightly less than expected. Then on the other end of the spectrum, we have the shots that we think less of from inception, but shoot anyway, maybe as a kind of afterthought. “We’ll, it’s not all that much, but I’m here so I might as well shoot it. click”. These occasionally turn out to be incredible; the best of the trip maybe. You know what I’m talking about. I call these aberrations of judgement “surprises”.
These things happen as we learn. Therefore to some degree it makes sense that our arrival at the end of our Visual Journey is determined by the bridging of that gap – by diminishing the distance between what we thought before we took the shot, and the way we feel about the same image afterward.
You will know your vision is “maturing” as you get fewer surprises. The shot you thought was going to be killer, was indeed slaying all in the vicinity, and the “over-the-shoulder” documentary image actually turns out to be just that.
Please understand that I don’t believe that’s all there is to the Visual Journey, this is really a simplified guideline to help a beginner get pointed in the right direction. Artistic vision must be developed by exposure to any and all sorts of the visual stimuli that pervades our culture. This is what determines your Visual Journey’s actual destination, but I’ll cover that in another post.
Just one more thing, if you’re “doing-it-right”, you never quite get to the station. You get closer and closer, eventually thinking you might just arrive, but you’ll never actually get there. Just sayin’.