Thursday, 10 April 2014

Readdressing Creative Processes

06:30:00 Posted by Lara Clayton , , , , , , 6 comments
At times I think it can be helpful to have several mediums in which to express creativity. That way, when one outlet fails or becomes too stressful, there is always another. For me, I quite like the rewards of baking, the extra spoonful of love that seems to be included with a handmade card, the sense of 'achievement' that comes with building an Andy Warhol Campbell's soup can on Minecraft, or taking a photograph which manages to capture how you see the world / feel about it. The latter is something I've always had a liking for, and yet is one I've never really taken beyond my 'click and point' camera.

Over the years, I've been absorbed and inspired by many wonderful photography exhibitions (one of the luxuries of having lived in London) and I enjoy flicking through books of photographs for those images that make me think 'wow'.

Anyway, as a result of my writing being slow (and slightly painful at times) I decided to make an effort to take more photographs. To learn more about the technical side of photography. To teach myself something new. To have a different creative hobby which might in turn release the poetry from my head. To take images without the pressure there seems to be to write a line or stanza.

Below is one of the photographs that resulted from an early morning Sunday walk on the beach...

...and below is the poem which resulted from the above photograph.

Re- Focus

I slowed the shutter speed, increased the ISO.
By the time the image appeared on the camera's display
there was nothing left - a world bleached into obscurity.
The receding tide, wet sand and resting gulls
now lost in a thick, glaring white.
A whiteness like that I imagine in death, in the middle ground,
in the space between this place and the next.

Later, when I downloaded the photographs, they looked like errors:
The missing subjects, the lack of colour and contrast.
But as I began to edit, dragging the 'brightness' slider
backwards into negative figures,
I watched as a faded grey structure pulled itself from the absence,
sharpening, gradually becoming darker - its iron legs
lifting from the fog, as if refusing to disappear.  

Thank you for reading,



Louise Barklam said...

Beautiful Lara!

It made me think that the photo above symbolizes how Blackpool is at the moment, and what needs to be done to bring it back to life.

Excellent picture, beautiful poem and a marvellous poet.

Thank you.

Colin Davies said...

A very interesting approach, and one I wholeheartedly support you on. This combined piece has such emotion and subtext beyond that, I think, you're own intention.


Lindsay said...

Beautiful poem, amazing photograph, yes I think other approaches to creativity feed others. Must dig my paintbrush out. Inspirational post Lara x

vicky ellis said...

The poem feels like snapshots of you, as photographer. I enjiyed the sense of looking over your shoulder. And the photograph gave me a sense of calm, in that it showed me one thing, uncluttered by its scenery.

When I saw the photo first, as a quickly glimpsed thumbnail, I thought it was a line of Arabic. Funny where our minds go :-)

Christo said...

Splendid example of the ekphrastic poem, though I tend to find and be inspired by paintings and other images created by others.
Your explanation of creating the image is very helpful indeed to readers who would like to develop their own mastery of the technique, and, though Blackpool is poverty-stricken in terms of lack of really striking architecture, the arms of the piers are unfailingly interesting.
Good stuff, Lara.

Adele said...

Nice to see you brushing up on other skills that enliven your poetic clarity. The photo of the pier reminds me of the Wyre Light, skeletal and yet enduring.
It also triggered a memory of Kevin McCann's poem,Blackpool out of Season.

You are doing lovely brushwork with your pen and camera Lara.