assignment 2 – inspiration

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    hi, I’m having issues with technology, computer died out… I am hoping you can open this link! If not I’ll sort it out somehow. Thanks!

    Duncan Rawlinson

    i will repost it for you


    Duncan Rawlinson


    Assignment 2 – Inspiration – Fleur Serriere

    “The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.”

    I only realised that Robert Doisneau, the renowned French photographer and author of this quote, was probably an influence on my interest in photography – I’m afraid I can’t go as far as calling myself an artist just yet – through thinking over this assignment.

    If being an artist is about wanting to capture “the marvels of daily life”, then it is what I am aspiring to be as a wannabe artist. Perhaps other
    artists have influenced me, but not consciously. Being French, Doisneau was present around me for as long as I can remember, and thus played a big part in how I look at life around me.

    When my dad gave me my first camera when I was 16, we lived in Western Africa. Right away, in spite of my shyness, I went on my own in densely populated areas, photographing the striking contrasts: bright smiles versus poverty, bright colours of women’s clothing versus the dull colour of the sand, camels versus four X fours.

    Back in France, and in the Western world in general, I struggled to find those often incongruous contrasts. People hide behind shutters, blinds, curtains. The streets of Doisneau’s Paris have now more cars than people. But being constantly on the lookout for the right moment, the right emotion, enhanced my curiosity for my surroundings. I realised the curiosity of the photographer makes every place interesting, every moment worth living (well, almost…). And for someone brought up as a ‘nomad’, that meant an awful lot – not only did the lens train my eye to see the world in sharper details so as to not to miss any of its ‘marvels’, it allowed fleeting moments to linger on paper.

    Identifying one particular piece of work which is of particular importance to me is a difficult one. I am drawn to the photograph I attached above, because it encapsulates for me all that I have described above: the fleeting moment, the sense of joy, the wonderment of childhood. I like the fact that part of the photo is blurry because of the movement, emphasizing the spontaneity of the scene and of its protagonists.

    Doisneau’s work is seen so often and has been reproduced so much that we could become immune to its charm, especially with the myriad of images we are bombarded with everyday. And yet, somehow, the emotions remain. I haven’t yet got the technical tools to fully grasp what in his technique is so powerful. And that in itself is my inspiration to learn about theory and practice to grow as a photographer, and who knows, perhaps as an artist!

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hi Serrière!

    This is a great piece! Do you actually live in Paris now?! I’m jealous! I LOVE Paris!!!

    Here are some photographs I took in Paris recently:

    I love this one:

    Now, what’s the point?! Why do I get people to think about this?!

    The goal is that if you can refine what inspires you and what interests your early on in learning photography your motivation will continue. I wish that someone had asked me to think about this in my early days as a photographer. I spent years just shooting and shooting but without thinking about why?!

    I want you to continue to think about the WHY? Why do you care? Why should other people care about your images?

    If you can keep this inspiration in your mind you will have more success getting farther along the road toward becoming a better photographer.

    I really enjoyed reading your piece and I hope you are getting value from the course.

    Are you on Twitter? Or Google Plus?

    Thanks and see you on assignment 3!!


    Thank you for your feedback. Yes I did think it was an excellent question and it did force me to think about what I wanted to do with photography. And it also made me aware of how ignorant I am about photography!! I enjoyed reading some of the other submissions – I am in awe of how precise some people’s understanding of what they want to create is. I was inspired by your picasso quote on ‘stealing’ to be a great artist. I think my first step is to get a lot better knowledge of photographers.
    To answer your question, I don’t live in Paris but I loved your photos!

    Duncan Rawlinson

    I’m glad you got something out of this assignment!

    I agree that some people have a remarkably precise understanding of what inspires them in Photography.

    Also it’s worth noting that this is not something you should stop thinking about. You should always look at the work of other for inspiration that you can apply to your own work.

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