I am grateful to have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people while studying abroad. One of the perks, is of course having exploring buddies who are photographers as well. I like to photograph with others, because it is always interesting to see which things compel us to take a photograph. Today was one such experience; I had great fun hiking with some new international friends.
We went around town and to St. Julian's Wood, a place I frequent often. I noticed that much of the plant life which interests me is also attractive to the others. As an artist, this doesn't surprise me. We are trained specifically to see more than the average passer-by, however that does not make us very original. In fact striving for originality is something on the mind of mosts artists competing in the industry. I once had a professor who told his students "the first ten ideas you have for a project will not work, because guaranteed it is the same first ten ideas other people will have as well. People are not so different from one another."
In contrast, from an educational perspective, I have seen a number of students take the same assignment prompt and interpret it in completely different ways. One could argue that two photographers could photograph the same thing, with the same light, with the same camera, and the images would be completely different because of individual perception, and work flow.
These dualities are at a constant conflict in my mind. I am not sure if one can really prevail above the other, but that perhaps this relationship is as it should be. Regardless, it shifts the way I perceive the world, and how I approach photography.