Being unoriginal

Originality is something most people in the arts are pursuing. While my personal concern is usually getting things right (composition, focus, shutter speed etc.), originality is also pretty high on the list. If only to avoid the label ‘boring’ and/or make my pictures stand out among millions of other macro photos on the web. However, in certain circumstances being unoriginal is my goal. The photo below is a good example. I have seen dozens if not hundreds of pictures with similar composition, colours, focus and subject as this one. When I was making this photo I knew I was as original as a rip-off brand. Then why didn’t I do something new? Mix it up? Simple. I have done that, but those photos were pretty bad and will never appear on the internet. I believe the Greeks (I couldn’t find the exact phrasing or origins anywhere) said it best about learning an art. First you copy other people’s work, than you improve it and finally you create your own. As for Damselfly photography during sunset, I am stuck between the copying and improving phase. That’s about the best excuse to make more pictures as you can find :).

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