Chris Friel: Impressionist Photographer and Curing Boredom

 

Photo by Chris Friel

I have no idea whether Mr. Friel calls himself an impressionist photorapher.  He might hate that term.  But, that’s what I’m calling him because that’s what his photographs make me think of.  They’re beautiful, often eerie, but generally have an ethereal quality about them, just like the impressionists of the 19th Century.

I first found Mr. Friel’s flickr account some time ago, and immediately followed him so his wonderful images would appear in my photostream each morning.

I then ran across this interview featuring Mr. Friel and discovered he only picked up a camera 4 years ago, at which point I got sad.

I was sad because I immersed myself in photography some 8 years ago.  I spent an ungodly amount of timing getting good at it.  You may have heard Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hours to mastery” concept before, which Friel actually mentions in his interview.  I did that.  Reading about photography, looking at photography, actually taking photographs.  10,000 hours worth.

I’d say I got pretty good at what I set out to do, which was to make very large prints of very pretty places.  But, I recently got bored.  Maybe 10,000 hours of something will do that to you.  So, I took a break.  After the break, I was still bored.  Then I started playing around.  I started taking the types of photos that I later discovered Mr. Friel seems to specialize in.  The sad part comes from the fact that my photos don’t look nearly as cool as his do.

On the bright side, the experiment of going after a totally new type of shot served to not only rekindle my desire to shoot photos in generally, but also rekindled my desire to go out and shoot the types of photos I have gotten good at shooting.

By changing the reason I went out to shoot, in this case to experiment, learn, and try to bring home something totally different from anything I had shot before, I got the juices flowing.  Not only did those juices produce something new, they also made my bread and butter far more tasty, so to speak.

Summary:

  • Check out Mr. Friel’s constantly updated flickr here: Chris Friel’s Flickr
  • 10,000 hours to master a subject
  • Try something wildly new to kill boredom or break out of a rut; even if you don’t like the results of the new effort, you’ll get the juices flowing again, which will aid all of your creative work.
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