Like A Harp’s Strings IV – Radiating
Katechaki Pedestrian Bridge, Athens – design by Santiago Calatrava
– SWPA 2013 – Sony – World Photography Awards – Finalist Top 10 Shortlist
– IPA 2012 – International Photography Awards – Honorable Mention
The fourth image in my “Harp” bridge series presents the Katehaki Pedestrian Bridge in Athens, by Santiago Calatrava. It will most probably be followed by another one that will wrap up the series (for now, at least).
It was yet another interesting image to process. I guess I’m enjoying at least as much the things I discover about myself while processing an image, as I’m enjoying the processing itself.
Like all the other photographs in this series, this image was not exactly easy to process. And not because of the technical difficulties of the processing itself. But because of the way I was dealing with my idea, with my vision about it.
From the beginning, I had a great sky. Long streaks of clouds converging to the pylon, good contrast in the sky, what more could I have wished for? I was sure that the processing would go like a breeze. Well, I had a big surprise, it turned out to be not that easy.
When I actually approached the image and started processing it, I realized that there was constantly something not working in the sky, something that I couldn’t put my finger on and tell what it was. I was struggling with it for a few days, while I couldn’t get what I had in mind and had to do and redo and undo and redo again umpteen times (I think I’ve done at least 10 versions of the sky, all different, till I found what I was looking for) …and while I realized that the problem wasn’t the photo but me, the problem was that I was not fully letting my idea take control.
I was allowing too much for the image that came out of the camera to lead me. As a result, I was turning around in circles, and getting away from my vision instead of getting closer to it. Then, when I realized that I wasn’t owing anything to that image the camera gave me, I was able to at last set my mind free and let my idea come out and there I was, finally managing to create what I was feeling inside me that I have to create.
But this process was quite an energy-consuming one so, after getting my sky right, I was just emptied of energy and had to put a distance between me and my image and take a deep breath till I could get back to it.
So I left it aside to ripe. I was watching it from time to time to see how I feel about it and if there’s enough distance already, I was working on different other things in the meanwhile, having it though in my mind in the background all this time, but still needing to be away from it, till, at some point when out of the sudden, I just had to get back to it and finish it. Just like that. I was ready for it and it was ready for me. And there it is the result, right here in front of your eyes.
Funny how these things sometimes have a life of their own, and you can’t but consider it, otherwise there’s no real connection and they won’t let you draw a line.
So this was my creative process and my creative struggle with reality. What did I learn? That I have to trust myself more than I trust what I see if I want to create things that please me. And that you can’t force inspiration to come (well, that I knew already, but it was yet another sweet reminder.