Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

'Be Wrong As Fast As You Can'

This last weekend I read an article in The New York Times that really hit home for me.  It was called "Be Wrong As Fast As You Can" by Hugo Lindgren, and the link will take you right to it.  And the article was very apropo to both photographic projects and New Year's resolutions. In the article, Lindgren, an editor/writer, speaks about all the great ideas that went through his head at one point or another.  He speaks about the great ideas that went through ALL our heads at one point or another.  All those great photo projects that never made it past the thought process of how good it would be.  The one's that never made it past maybe putting one or two images into a Lightroom collection.  Maybe because those one or two  images just came to you  easily, but the rest of the project, well, that's the hard part.

They go nowhere for lots of reason's.  Maybe it turns out it wasn't that hot an idea.  Maybe it turns out we are just too lazy.  Or maybe it turns out that we find ourselves thinking the whole thing sucks as soon as we actually start working on it and seeing the pieces that we have to work with and how they fit together.

Well, don't worry about that and just start working. Here is what John Lasseter, the founder of Pixar, had to say about the process of making his movies (quoting from the Lindgren article) "Pixar's in-house theory is: Be wrong as fast as you can.  Mistakes are an inevitable part of the creative process, so get right down to it and start making them.  Even great ideas are wrecked on the road to fruition and then have to be painstakingly reconstructed.  "Every Pixar film was the worst motion picture ever made at one time or another," Lasseter said.  "People don't believe that, but it's true.  We don't give up on the films."

At another point in the article Lindgren says "Ideas, in a sense, are overrated.  Of course, you need good ones, but at this point in our supersaturated culture, precious few are so novel that nobody else has ever thought of them before.  It' s really about where you take the idea, and how committed you are to solving the endless problems that come up in the execution."

So where is this going for me?  A few posts back, I wrote about photography projects.  The Lindgren article reaffirmed for me that the best way to finish a photography project is to start a photography project.  So I did.  And work on it until it is done. And I will. 

My first project of the year is going to be to turn my Carrie Furnace images into a full fledged packaged folio.  I have taken the leap and will report back when it is completed.  I had thought about making it into a Blurb book, but after reading a bit on-line it seem that, while results for Blurb with color photos have been excellent, the results with black and white have been more hit and miss.  So with a large folio I do the printing myself and am able to make certain that I get what I want.

The other question I asked myself is why push forward doing more work on a project that is 'complete' as far as the photographs themselves go?  And the answer is that it was a lot of work that yielded results that I am truly pleased with.  So it seems to me that to not develop it to it's full potential would simply be selling it short. I believe that thinking about how you can further develop some of the work that you have already 'completed' might be a worthwhile endeavor for many people.  Don't sell short or waste what you already have!