Perfection n 1. the act of perfecting or the state or quality of being perfect. 2. the highest degree of a quality
Creative adj 1. having the ability or power to create. 2. characterised by originality of thought or inventiveness; having or showing imagination
The Collins English Dictionary
I find myself in a contemplative mood of late; musing on being creative and how I express this through photography. While walking with my camera today, I started to think about how my inner drive for perfection might actually be stifling my creativity.
Exhibit 1 – it took me over a year to pull together a Blurb book on my trip to Bhutan in 2012. Why? I kept faffing and fiddling with the images and layout. I wasn’t happy with the post-processng; felt all the images should have the same ‘look’; a similar crop; were they good enough to be printed? The final drive to actually get on with the project was a time limited 25% discount offer. In this case money counted. So am I happy with the final book? Yes and proud of it too.
Exhibit 2 – at the start of my 52 postcards project, I spent an entire afternoon trying to print the perfect 4 x 6 postcard. I wanted an even white border around the image, but my printer wasn’t co-operative. After much experimentation in Lightroom and more wasted prints than I care to admit to, I finally got something I was reasonably happy with. After so much time spent trying to print the millimetre perfect postcard, is the end result really any better? No, not really.
I have many more such examples, but won’t bore you with them here. What I’m driving at is, am I putting too much energy and time into striving for perfection and not enough in risking producing something, that while not perfect, may be more creative? I know the answer, I just need to act on it. Let go, create my best work but not fret over a millimetre here and there.