I grew up without a television. As an only child, mischief was my cauldron and the garden gate, my boundary.
Dad arrived home with a television five days before my 11th birthday. Feeling “in” with every other child on the planet, I plonked myself down on the couch and proceeded to watch the afternoon soaps. Twenty minutes later I was back outside climbing the avocado tree. The next day the television remained off, and the day thereafter and the next day. On the third day of blank screen and silence, my father enquired as to why I wasn’t watching TV.
“It bores me”, I answered. Then I ran off to play among the ivy leaves in my secret garden cave.
Are you bored with your photography like I was bored with TV? Then I want to suggest that you’re not taking enough pictures. You’re not seeing enough of the same thing over and over to crave something different.
We need to feel bored to grow. Most beginner photographers start with objects and people close at hand, and seldom, if ever, move beyond these borders. Just as soap operas sent me outside to invent games that kept my mind and body stimulated, same-old photographs force me to move beyond the normal circumstances in which I take them.
This time of year presents many opportunities to stimulate and stretch your creativity. For example, the images in this post illustrate how photographers observed a scene, isolated a subject and captured it in relation to its surroundings. If that is a new approach for you, consider trying it with the instructions I listed below.
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For this month’s PhotoPlay, try the following:
- Find a place where there is a lot of activity.
- Fade into the scene by finding a comfortable place to sit or stand.
- Identify an object or person you would like to capture.
- Capture your subject in relation to the whole setting.
- Covert to black and white or use the black and white function on your camera. Email me if you do not know how to do this.
- Blog about the experience and tell us how it stretched you. Also tell us about the boredom you feel, or don’t feel, when it comes to taking pictures. If you want to just give a description to an image on Flickr, that is also acceptable.
- Include your links in the comments at High Calling Focus by Wednesday, December 15, for a feature in the gallery next Friday.