Friday, August 31, 2012

Everyday Ordinary

Today I am preparing to ship the first orders for my new Creative Photographer Exploration Cards to Expand Your Creativity, and wanted to share with you one of the cards.

The focus of this card is finding  beauty in the ordinary things around us.  We rush through our days so fast that we often forget to slow down and see with eyes of wonder.  We also become habituated to our environment so that things that were once meaningful no longer call for our attention.  What is it you are not seeing?  Is there one thing that is part of your everyday routine that you can see with new eyes today?  Find one thing a day that is simple and ordinary, and see it in a new way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Darla's Dewdrop

Last weekend I hosted a retreat at Waterfall Mountain Retreat Center entitled "Drawing with Light: Photography as Spiritual Practice".

One of the exercises I shared with participants is the "One-Hundred Images" Exploration on page 37 of The Creative Photographer.  In this exercise I suggest you find a subject and take one hundred photographs of your subject, in different lights, in different positions, at different angles.  This is an exercise I consider to be akin to the writer's "first draft".  There will be some photographs you will want to delete, but there might be some good ones, and every now and then, you may even get some great ones.

One of the retreat participants, Darla Davis, shared the above photograph with me with this note: 
I thought you might like to know that the photo I sent you of the leaf stem with the dew drop came from the 100 photos of the same subject assignment.  I don't think I would have found this image without the encouragement to keep looking deeper and differently at the same subject.  I started out photographing the poke berries, drawn to the contrast between the green berries and the magenta stems.  It was late in the 100 photos assignment that I noticed the little dewdrop on the green stem.

I believe that if this is the only exercise you ever do from my book, your photography will improve.  It is an exercise in practice, in patience, and in seeing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Face in the Tub

This weekend, traveling back to Charlotte after teaching a photography retreat in Warrensville, NC, I saw this strange sight on the side of the road: outside an old antique store stood rows and rows of old bathtubs.  Now, this isn't the sort of thing one thinks of as the perfect photography subject, but for some strange reason I was intrigued by these rows of tubs, and stopped the car to investigate further.

On closer inspection, each bathtub seemed to have its own personality, and I couldn't resist sharing the faces I discovered in the bathtubs!  Sometimes the camera can be a way to discover the unexpected and to give us an opportunity to have fun and laugh.