Combining images of music with other images has added a rich new dimension to my creative life and thinking. I don’t mean sequencing a soundtrack to a slideshow; I mean adding the graphic notation found in sheet music.

So that I can make these types of images on the spot, I’ve gathered a collection of photographs of music that I can draw on at a moment’s notice.

Doing this has not only yielded a growing number of compelling images, it has also raised a generative set of questions. In particular, the question of what’s missing or has been eliminated in still images and how that can be either more strongly felt or implied leads to many new ideas and insights.

I find that because I’m engaged in this experiment I notice the ambient sound of the places I’m photographing in more frequently and even photograph different things. My perception of the world becomes richer because I’m paying closer attention to it and to my responses to it.

What experiments will help you add a new or missing dimension to your images?

Read the full article on The Huffington Post.

Visit my iPhone learning center here.

 

Recently, during an African safari, I spent several days photographing animals. We saw all of the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, cape buffalo) and many other animals in one day. It was the first time I made a concerted effort to make wildlife photographs, which was excellent practice. I gained an increased appreciation for how moments of peak action (or lack thereof) can make or break some photographs. I made many competent photographs that entertained my family at home, which I have no intention of using professionally.

In between these sessions, I spent a few hours photographing the skulls of animals displayed in the camp. Initially, I photographed very freely, exploring many ways of photographing them. As I reviewed the images, I learned from both the successes and the failures, gradually refining my the point of view of the collection. I appreciate the images that go beyond direct representation and become suggestive of something more through abstraction and metaphor. Ultimately, these images, which I consider sketches, will lead to final results, which will result in professional products.

Unexpectedly, I found that these sessions helped me develop my thinking on how to incorporate the process of sketching, both with words, drawings and photographs, into the development and presentation of future professional work. In the right contexts, I might even publish, display or sell select sketches.

This session also helped me explore longstanding personal themes within my life and work. These images expand my understanding of the power of photography to transform our perceptions of a subject through close observation. They highlight for me the limitations of vision (and photography) to see beneath or beyond surfaces. They confirm how I frequently try to suggest the often unseen foundations of the things I photograph. They remind me of how much I love to draw bones, especially the human skeleton. They reinforce my longstanding desire to create sculptures, many influenced by these forms. They resurface my artistic influences; in particular Georgia O’Keefe and Henry Moore. I’m sure there are other valuable resources I can mine from this experience, if I give both the process and these results further thought.

Explorations often have many unintended consequences; often these become the discoveries we’re looking for when we engage in experiments. You’ll learn more from simply observing your creative process, without judgment, than from anything else. Awareness is everything. What makes a process of experimentation even more successful, richer and more relevant is subsequently reviewing our results and continually refining our lines of inquiry.

How could experimentation help you reveal, connect with and develop your influences?

What experiments would be most helpful to you?

These images were made in Mala Mala, South Africa during my recent South Africa Photo Safari (sponsored by NIK).

Apps used were PicGrunger and Snapseed.

See more images and find more posts on The Huffington Post.

Play

April 24, 2009 | Leave a Comment |

Each summer my we go to Italy to visit my wife’s family. My son and I share point and shoot camera’s and make whimsical interpretations of our experiences there. I’ve learn a lot when I take time to play. I become more versatile and improvisational. I take interest in and see things I never would have seen otherwise. I see things in new ways. The reasons I make different kinds of images and the expectations I have for them become clearer. Play’s valuable. Really valuable. And fun! Take time to play.

Check out my Creativity workshops here.


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