It’s spring and no where is it more evident than on my still partially frozen lake.
I awaken most mornings now to the sounds of the geese as they battle it out to retain the affections of their mates.
There always seems to be at least one odd man out making a valiant attempt to win over the heart of the lady goose and the ongoing battles on slick surfaces are something to behold.
Although preset packages and filters are readily available for purchase and sometimes for no cost, I like to develop my own to use in Lightroom and will often shoot images that I know will work well with those saved presets. In my mind, it adds to the level of creativity and allows for a bit of fun when it comes to the processing of raw images.
I stumbled on this quite by accident when a slip of the Wacom tablet pen threw me into more than a slight adjustment of a slider. One of those “happy mistakes” that I fine-tuned and saved as a preset.
The reminder for today is just as I preach about learning to use every setting that your camera has to offer, take that one step further and play within your editing program to develop your own unique settings. Lightroom has non destructive editing so you are always able to go back to your initial image and start over. Often I will create a virtual copy to edit with a preset. If you are working within a program that does not have non destructive editing, make sure that you are always working on a copy of your image.
I guarantee that it will spark your creativity and who knows where that could lead you…
I have a vision of life, and I try to find equivalents for it in the form of photographs.
I am often asked how I stay so creative and where do my ideas come from. The best answer I have would be that I make feeding my creativity a daily habit. I have always been one to have my camera with me at all times but in the past perhaps did not use it every single day. That all changed 600 days ago when a friend of mine suggested that I join blipfoto, a daily journal for photographers, where an image is posted each day and must have been taken on that day. I found the prospect of doing a 365 day project appealing and began posting an image of my world every day. This was not without its own set of challenges and some days, perhaps more so initially, it felt like one more task that I had to get done for the day. In time though it developed a rhythm of its own and I noticed some changes taking place in how I was photographing.
With the advent of digital photography we were all of a sudden able to take hundreds of images and just discard the ones we didn’t like. Why not? There was no film involved and no cost for developing. I took it one more step backwards and with the purchase of my first DSLR realized that I wasn’t doing what I had always done with a film camera which was to shoot it in manual mode and make my own decisions on shutter speed, aperture etc. If you want to be more creative, take your camera off the auto setting and although it may be frustrating at first, you’ll soon wonder why you ever let the camera make decisions for you!
Using my camera every day made me develop a relationship with it again and that in turn fueled the desire to be able to capture images that were more meaningful to me. The volume of photographs that I take has dropped drastically from those early days of digital. I edit those captures every day so I try to make each shot count and get it right, in camera, as often as possible. This lessens the work load too while in the digital darkroom!
So, if you want to jump start your creativity you need to feed it every day. For me, photography is a meditative process and it is when I am in that zone that the magic begins and one idea feeds into the next, and the next, and the next…