Vemodalen

“Vemödalen

n. the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist—the same sunset, the same waterfall, the same curve of a hip, the same closeup of an eye—which can turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap, like a mass-produced piece of furniture you happen to have assembled yourself.”

You will be introduced to strange words on this blog. I love weird words, and delight in finding and using them. I am a sesquipedalian.

I don’t want to be like everyone else.

Pretty, right?

I don’t want to photograph things like other people do. I don’t want to be compared to others, and I don’t want to compare myself to others. (I do, when I’m in a funk, but that’s a whole other thing.)

But, I am a sky photo junkie. I take thousands of photos of the sky. Sometimes with my phone. Sometimes with my pro cameras. Sometimes with the smaller cameras I’ve bought for travel. I photograph the sky a lot. So do MANY other people. Below, you can find a small sampling of the beautiful but ordinary work I’ve created of the sky. I think I’m just drawn to the way the sunlight is playing in the clouds.

I aspire to be greater than ordinary. To be something that is set apart.

Creativity is like air for me. I need it to exist. When I composite a subject to have butterflies exploding from their chest or place items in a whimsical mixed media work, I feel like everything is right. I’m telling my story. I’m connecting to others and being very non-ordinary.

My work should not feel hollow or cheap. It shouldn’t be like 1000 other photos of the sunset over a bay. It should move the viewer to feel SOMETHING.

It can be a good or a bad feeling. Just so long as it produces SOME feeling. Hate it? You feel it. Love it? You feel it.

There’s much to know about composition and color grading and all the ins and outs of what makes art “good.” But I don’t want you to look at my work and say, “Oh, I love her composition and use of color here.” I want you to look and see something that makes you stop and feel.

“Oh, my word. What was she thinking? This is really uncomfortable for me to look at.” (I would ask you what makes you uncomfortable; from that, I bet you could make some insights to yourself.)

“Oh, wow. I know exactly what that feels like. I’m not alone? Others feel this too? [Relief.]”

No sky photo will do that beyond two seconds. “Wow, nice shot. [continues scrolling.]” or “ANOTHER sky? [doesn’t even stop scrolling as they roll their eyes.]”

Will I ever stop taking photos of the sky? No. There are over a dozen in my phone’s camera roll now from this past week.

But I will push myself to create work that evokes some reaction. Something to keep people thinking. Something to move us forward.

(You can see my weird art and conceptual portraits by clicking the portfolio link above.)

Whether you’re a sky junkie like me or a more refined artiste, don’t let the fear of vemodalen stop you from capturing a moment that brings you joy. 🙂


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