Photographing. It’s my favorite form of exercise. You walk, climb, squat, bend, reach, stretch and more – much more. You lose track of time and how far you’ve gone. You just keep going. You always want to go farther. It’s exhilarating! At the end of it all, you feel great and you return with something to show for it. I recommend it to everyone.

This image shows a participant at Zabriskie Point during my recent Death Valley workshop.

Eyes Wide Shut

December 9, 2010 | 1 Comment |



“Seeing with your skin means to use more than just your eyes to observe and listen to others. You can sense with deeper perception and consciousness. Use all of you. The more you can feel, the better you will be at determining how and when to react …” – Joseph Cardillo – Be Like Water

We tap only a small portion of our intelligence. And we have many types of intelligence; visual, verbal, emotional, kinesthetic, etc. Our bodies have a vast intelligence. Tap it. And make your work stronger.

Our five senses are doorways to worlds of wonder. Those who are missing one sense usually developed heightened awareness in the others. You can do the same by closing your eyes.

Close your eyes. Do this for several minutes. What do you hear, feel, smell, taste?

When you open your eyes, make photographs with your other senses in mind. While you are doing this, put your habitual visual routines on hold. Simply experience making images from other perspectives.

Don’t evaluate the images you make in these sessions as you would others. Look for moments that are strongly felt. Successful images of this type are the ones that move you most, not the ones that have the most refined compositions. In them, you’ll find new ways of relating to any subject and the seeds fof many ideas that may bear fruit in the near future, if properly tended.

Later, you can continue making exposures with these previous successes in mind.

The strongest images suggest dimensions beyond the visual. When you look at them, you can imagine smelling Monet’s gardens, tasting a Zubaran still life, feeling the chill of Friedrich’s seascapes, or even hearing Kandinsky’s abstractions.

Your work will be stronger if it becomes equally suggestive.

Find more online resources here.

Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

Breaking the Rules

August 17, 2010 | Leave a Comment |

breakingrules

In his book Photography and the Art of Seeing, Freeman Patterson offers excellent advice. List all of the rules of photography. Then break them. If you do this, you’ll develop a better understanding of the medium.

I recommend you take this advice one step further. List all of your rules of photography. And break them. You’ll either find confirmation that what you’re doing is right for you or you’ll make new breakthroughs. You’ll develop a better understanding of your personal relationship with the medium and your unique way of looking. Keep going. And revisit this list frequently.

Find my lists in my PDF Breaking The Rules.

Find more resources in my Lessons here.

Find out about my digital photography workshops here.

SCAMPER

April 8, 2010 | Leave a Comment |

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SCAMPER

Having trouble coming up with new ideas? Get thousands of ideas with one word. Try SCAMPER. In 1939 advertising executive Alex Osborn, “the father of brainstorming”, first proposed a set of nine strategies for creative thinking, seven of which were later rearranged by Bob Eberle into the mnemonic SCAMPER.

S   Substitute

C   Combine

A   Adapt

M   Modify

P   Put to Other Uses

E   Eliminate

R   Rearrange

What are the other two missing words?

Minify, which I like to think of as expand and contract or put another way reduce and enlarge.

Reverse, which I think is the most powerful tool of all. It’s typified by the 180 degree rule. Do the opposite.

The underlying assumption with SCAMPER is that new ideas are based on old ones. This may not always be the case, but often it is. To use SCAMPER, you have to start with something.

You can use SCAMPER as a list of questions that can be used to generate new ideas. Simply ask, “Can I ____ something?” inserting the words SCAMPER represents one at a time. Next, you might try using two words at a time. Later try three. Classically, the best solutions are the simplest, but not always.

Find over 20 creativity tips here.

Learn more in my workshops.

Spend A Little Extra Time

November 25, 2009 | 2 Comments |

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bosque2

Whenever you can, spend a little extra time before and/or after a workshop (or any business trip for that matter). You go to great places. You always want more time. You might want to see a location again. Or you might want to see a nearby location that you didn’t get to. Stimulating as groups can be, sometimes you want to work alone and at your own pace. There are so many reasons to spend a little extra time.

On the way back from my White Sands, New Mexico workshop my wife and I visited the Bosque Del Apache bird sanctuary. Every year this marsh is filled with Sand Hill Cranes, Snow Geese and countless other birds. They fill the sky at dawn. The sound of the waking birds is wonderful.

As you can tell, I’m no Arthur Morris (one of the world’s premiere bird photographers). I hear he was at the Bosque at the same time I was.

Find out about my 2010 White Sands Workshop here.
Find out about my Illuminating Creativity field workshops here.

walkinginwhitesands1walkinginwhitesands

Photography is my favorite form of exercise. Sometimes you walk a lot. Sometimes you walk in challenging terrain. I love walking in dunes. It’s great exercise. Low impact. Lots of climbing. You lose your breath by the time you reach the top of a dune. But you’re so excited to make the next photograph, you forget about it. By the time you’re finished making the photograph, you’ve got your breath back. There must be another great picture just over the next dune. So you keep walking further. Just when you think you’re finished, you turn around and realize you get to do it all over again on the way back.

Find out about my field workshops here.

Stay tuned for more 2010 workshop dates.


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