Revisiting is Good

Just as revisiting your previous work to see if it can be improved is good, so is revisiting favorite subject matter or places.
With the wealth of subject matter and locations that most of us have access to, there is a huge urge to not revisit something or someplace we have already worked but to constantly try for something new.

In a previous tip we discussed the value in revisiting our images or artworks and reconsidering the direction we took in the light of further experience and growth. We can and should extend this.

Throughout the history of art, many artists have revisited the same subject matter over and over again. It might be a favorite place, subject or topic. Recurrent topics can be the self-portrait, a favorite landscape location, the same type of flower or whatever. Why would they do this?

When you revisit something or somewhere you are familiar with you are freed from the novelty and thus able to perceive through to a deeper level, explore different techniques and of course see completely differently as we have, hopefully, grown as an artist or person. Of course when it comes to locations, you are also exploring it over time and thus can explore how the time of day, season or development changes the location. Our equipment may also change over time, or our technique of using it. As photographers we may have new lenses or accessories, even new cameras, that open up new picture taking possibilities. As artists we may also have developed techniques, new software (or new versions) and new art making tools, from a graphics tablet to new papers or materials for working over a print.

Personally, I am doing a lot of landscape photography at present. I’ve fallen in love with a particular broad location, about an hour from home, and I am now exploring it and reshooting it as often as I can, with all the gear I have and with whatever gear is coming in for testing, at differing times of day and as the seasons shift. I am loving it. My photography of the place is getting better (in my view) and I am learning more about the place.

Give it a go. Indeed it may be a lifelong study as even while you work other subjects and places you keep revisiting the familiar, find new things or just new things to say. Give it a try.

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