Friday, November 30, 2007

Give Youself Some Homework - Creativity 3

One of the more fun and relaxing things I do when I take the time, it to come up with a self assignment. It never has anything to do with wedding or portraits photography, it's just something I do to get a better understanding of the equipment, color, line, shape, composition...... It's like a deep breath of fresh air - my camera is not pointing at anything it is normally pointing at - it's usually flowers, bugs, textures, colors - not one bride or groom, most often no people to be found.

For me this helps keep the creative juices flowing, both personally and professionally. People jog, do Pilates, work out for their bodies, but what do we do for our minds?? For too many of us, it's plopping down in front of a rerun of "Survivor". Hey, don't get me wrong - I like a little "junk food" TV myself (like Law and Order - why would you watch anything else?). But we do need to squish the brain cells now and then to keep our photographic talents and lives fresh, new, exciting, and challenging.

This is exactly what we did yesterday on our walk. I wanted to pick one lens, in this case my 100mm Macro lens - see yesterday's post - but I added this self-assignment. All shots must be illuminated with auxiliary lighting. For me it was creating the direction of light on each subject- in this case mostly flowers and cacti. I wanted to use this single light to establish my own creative context in which the subjects were rendered leaving only the natural element itself mostly removed from it's natural surrounds thereby allowing the viewer to focus on nature's beautiful simplicity. "Sticky Situation" - today's image exemplifies that simplicity. Also, check out the image of the palm frawn below, again beautiful simplicity.

And let me leave you with "Beauty in Blue" - a simple shot of part of a "Bird of Paradise" flower. Simplicity, elegance, beauty - not bad for a little walk around the block. I invite each of you to enjoy the experience at least every few months or so. Hey, that's better than a Pilates workout everyday ;~)

P.S. I'll discuss the technique next week in our "Technique Tuesday" so tune back in then.


  1. Another thing along these same lines is to participate in projects hosted by the mass of photography bloggers out there. It seems like there's almost always some kind of little contest or project going on.

    I try to participate in all that I can, and I find them to be quite inspiring. I've participated in projects for minimalism, in your own backyard, photojournalism, self critiques, and favorite photos. I've also hosted a couple of projects including overexposure, and post-processing... and I have another one coming up soon (which I might announce this next week).

    Anyways, you're totally right -- giving yourself a topic or theme to focus on can really open up your mind.

  2. Ooh, I forgot to mention -- I'll be participating in Trevor Carpenter's December Challenge.

    I'm not well versed in people photography or portraits, so it will be a challenge -- but hopefully an educational one!