Friday, October 8, 2010

500 Metres of Photography

I can't think of many photographers who have not had a creative block. I've had many of these where I just couldn't see anything worth photographing. Then the thought of selling my camera equipment enters the brain.

I try to take a camera with me almost everywhere. Be it the Nikon D300, Olympus C-7070 or a film camera , or any of the other multitude of cameras that are in my possession, something has to come with me. I would hate to feel like I missed a photo opportunity.

The cameras travels from the car to my work with great intention that after work or during lunch I will find some super inspiration and take a Pulitzer winning photo. All too often though, the camera just doesn't even get turned on.

Inspiration can come in many forms, and the best and most simply has to be to see other peoples photos.  Not to mimic their photo's, but just the make you want to turn the camera on and see photographically.

And that's what I've been doing lately. By looking at the work of a few photographers, I want to get off my butt and do something creative.

Since I don't have a lot of time at the moment, the challenge I have set myself is to take a few photos during the 500 metre walk from where I park my car in the morning to work (and back again in the afternnon if I'm feeling doubly inspired).

Mode of choice is black and white.Though I love my colour, the black and white allows you to concentrate on the lines and the shade and the composition. I can't "trick" the viewer with colour to look at something I want them to see in my shot. I have to use the above mentioned properties to do it.

It has become a fun experiment and really does bring you back to some very important basics. I have found that street shooting in a terrible ordinary suburb to be as hard as it gets. But that 500 metre walk can reveal some interesting objects like the  junk people throw away.

I have since found an obsession with junk. Like the solitary dining chair next to a driveway I saw the other day. The lines of the driveway lead nicely to this old wooden chair. The thing about it, was that it could be photographed in a million ways. 

If you can position yourself in the right place, it can look "arty". Without touching the surroundings or the objects you want to photograph, you can make it looked "staged". It's possible to make it look like you placed the chair next to the drive way.

I love that concept. Take a photo of something that looks like you staged it.

Another great place for inspiration is lunch time. It could be the shopping centre food halls or out in he street with the cafes and  fruit markets and the like. Whatever it is, you will find something interesting to take pictures of.

For those who haven't already done so, pick up the books "The Photograhers Eye" by Michael Freeman. It's a very good read and will re-inspire your thinking.

In the meantime, pickup your camera and take it to work. Try and capture something in a 500 metre space. It could be from the car park to the railway station or bus stop, or could be from your office to where you get your lunch.