8.8

Continuing on with the “line” theme (well, loosely anyway) I decided to change things up this week and shot mostly at a wide normal focal length; 8.8mm on the LX3.

I have really enjoyed shooting the last few weeks. Restricting myself to only shooting only what I can see as a “line” has actually freed me to be more creative than I could otherwise be.

Of course all that goes back to the idea that constraints enhance creativity. If you still haven’t read A Lesser Photographers Manifesto, you really should. (Just be aware that his site is sometimes hard to connect to.)

So for now I will continue to look for lines, at least until I can think of something else to shoot.

Inspiration is a Process

We all want to become better at this craft. So why is it that so many of us only take photos when we “feel inspired”? If you follow A Lesser Photographer then you may have already read this.

Inspiration doesn’t “strike.” Inspiration is scheduled.

I would add that inspiration is a process. Think about the times you are “struck” with inspiration. Is it really that something comes to you out of the blue? Maybe that happens sometimes, but more often than not isn’t it that you are already thinking in a creative mindset? You see/read/hear something that sticks in your mind and the creative juice is already flowing by the time that inspiration “strikes”. So why can’t that be intentional?

When I decide that I am only going to take photos when I “feel like it”, I don’t do much. The details of life, what it takes to get through a day, are not conducive to creativity (and neither is trolling dpreview to see what has been announced at Photokina).

So when I don’t “feel like it”, I have to make a concentrated effort to begin the process of becoming inspired. Looking at it like this, there is really no difference between inspiration and creative block.

Building Blocks

I often struggle to find confidence with photography. I am afraid that if I shoot something  similar to what someone else has shot that I have failed because I did not create something that has not been created before.

Or I feel like ‘I don’t have an eye for anything’ right now. I was encouraged the week with something I read by Zach Arias on his blog Ask Me Anything About Photography. It is all about focusing on the fundamentals; I took what he said and ran with it.

Photographing lines seems really basic but it is something that I need to do right now.

Connection

This week was a struggle for me to find any sort of photographic inspiration. Waiting until nearly the last minute, I finally forced myself out the door, falling back on “just shoot something”. It almost seems like the cyclist in the foreground is looking for a connection, maybe based on a common interest. But in reality, I am pretty sure she is just trying to figure out what I am pointing my camera at.

Focus

One thing I really like about my LX3 is the manual focusing. There is a “focus” button on top to do an auto-focus over-ride which can help make manual focusing faster. But what is even better is an on screen DoF scale. The focus range changes with aperture and focal length to make hyperfocal focusing quick and easy.

Different

If you are judging art, then you are missing the point.

I can’t remember where I read this, but it really helped me to understand some things about art, and to change the way I view it.

I value constructive criticism because I want to be a better photographer. But I am not sure there is a lot of value in comments like “it’s too light/dark/yellow”. What are you supposed to say to that? “Uh, thanks?”

Modern art is baffling to me. I stand in the gallery looking at what seems like graph paper painted onto canvas, and think “I don’t get it”.

Once I decided there is nothing “to get” I discovered how much I can learn from other artists, even art that is not photography, just by looking at what they have made.