What does creativity mean to you? That is a HUGE question for photographers. Dylan Goldby reached out to a number of photographers in South Korea to put together a presentation on that topic.
I spent a weekend in Seoul seeking out exactly what creativity means to me. It started with a conference and then ended with a trip inside my own motivations. I walked around Olympic Park and then unexpectedly stumbled into an exhibition of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work. I left Seoul with a clearer vision of my own creative motivation.
On January 31st, 6 awesome photographers met up near Topgol Park to spend the next 6 hours talking about what drives them forward, what makes them keep going and the challenges they face. It was an eye-opening experience.
Sharing what motivates you towards a creative moment is not something that we all share. For some it is a deeply personal experience and others it is a calculated risk. This goes beyond just pointing the camera at a pretty scene and pressing a button. This goes beyond adding a “creative” filter to a photo of your french fries.
This goes into that dreamy, inward-looking world of “why am I taking this photo?” or “what am I trying to communicate with this shot?” These are all questions that we should be asking ourselves before we press that shutter release. Often we get so wrapped up in the heat of the moment that we forget the “why” and only focus on the “Where” or the “When”
John Steele, examined the influences of creativity and brought up some great points about whether creativity is innate or cultivated. One of the points that he brought up was about diversifying your interests. Instead of just staying within your preferred choice of photography, examine others.
Andy Faulk, gave a very powerful presentation on finding our identity within the frame. This is leading back to what I mentioned before about examining the “why” Andy’s powerful presentation brought us all to tears and showed us the personal power that photography has. Again going beyond just taking a pretty picture and showing us a world of emotion and thought.
Dylan Goldby, talked about changing the world through photography. While that may seem like a tall order, the recent events with “Humans of New York” proves that it can be done. Dylan talked about seeing firsthand the power that the gift of a photograph can have on a people. His photos showed “taking” a photo is not as selfish as it sounds.
Jessica Marie Berggrun took us through her transition to video. Her extremely creative approach to photos and fashion was inspiring. The one question that she thinks about when taking her photos is “What more can be done?” This is something that resonated with most of us. Be it shooting with a model or a particular landscape, what more can you do with the scene in front of you?
Lorryn Smitt which you might know from PIK Magazine, talked about the world of Korean Wedding Photography. She brought up a lot about the fact that it is quite devoid of creativity and she is hoping to change that, one wedding at a time. It was an interesting perspective to hear.
After staying the Night at Mr. Faulk’s place I headed off to find the Lone Tree in Olympic park and then to find something interesting to do in Seoul. I stumbled into at exhibition of Henri Cartier-bresson at the DDP. I spent a few hours just looking at works that I normally would just pass over. I am not a big street photography or “decisive moment” fan but seeing these works in a new light allowed me to appreciate them differently.
I finished my time in Seoul doing some Seoul/Soul searching as I was trying to find a good place to eat around Gwanghwamun. I ended up grabbing some subway as I got frustrated trying to find restaurants that ended up not existing. Then I shot the gates of Gyeongbuk Palace and went home.