on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Successful Definitions

An evolution in practical terms & in ideas

Michéla Griffith

In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.


Success is a concept that I struggle with. It’s always been important to me that whatever I do, I do well (or at least to the best of my ability). But that doesn’t make me naturally competitive, and I’ve never thought of myself as ambitious. I’m just not that hungry.

I did, I think, my job (24 years working as a Chartered Landscape Architect) quite well. Well enough for my last line manager to say in his farewell speech that I was possibly the most thorough person he had come across. I’ve never been sure if that was/is a good thing – there’s a fine dividing line between being a perfectionist and a control freak. As my energy ebbed and I moved on to other things, I found my drive diminished. I still had (and have) the self-imposed need to be doing something, but in the absence of hurdles (exams, degree, professional qualification) and deadlines (submissions, project deadlines, end of financial year) I began to find that finishing things were less important to me and ideas and explorations more diverting. 

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