Maybe you know what it’s like. Something clicks. You see what you want to create, you know you can do it, the light is just right, and you are there with the camera and lens to make it happen. And the image turns out to be just what you wanted, and more. You feel like you’ve gotten past something, some creative hurdle.
What is it that got you to that point? Can you define the steps, or the process that got you to that place where you knew you could do it? That is what Kat is asking us to explain in this assignment for her photo course, The Journey of Fascination. After some careful thought, here is what I believe has had great impact on my creative journey in photography.
I have used my 70-300mm zoom lens many times and been disappointed in the results. Now I know that it was the person behind the camera not understanding the limits and capabilities of that lens. Then last September, on a bright sunny day, I stepped into the front yard with that lens on my DSLR and was able to get this image of a butterfly.
Just a few weeks later I spent a weekend with my friends at Hocking Hills State Park, specifically to take photos of the fall foliage. It was the perfect weekend for this. We all used tripods to get clear images in low light settings, and I used the kit lens for my camera so I could get a wide angle on this fabulous view. This one is my very favorite, and that is my friend Becky in the corner. Sometimes it helps just to hang out with other creative types and let their goodness and skill rub off on you!
By this point I had begun my first 365 Project, making a promise to myself to take photos each day for a year. That’s important.
In December I set out one evening at dusk with the specific purpose of taking low light images. What I started out taking images of did not produce the results I wanted, so I decided to cruise around downtown before heading back home. Using only my 50mm lens that evening, I found this little restaurant full of lovely, warm light. I parked the car, stepped outside, and snapped just a few images. Hand held. No tripod.
Last month on a cold winter morning with lots of snow on the ground, I set out to my favorite park to take winter beauty photos. Red berries in winter just do something to me, I so love the color of them. I used the 70-300mm lens again for this. It’s not perfect. But you know…it doesn’t have to be. I like it.
First, the camera. There is a real change in my photography once I had a DSLR in my hands. Learning what it can do, day by day, makes it even better.
Second, the lens. The kit lens that came with it is great and I do use it quite a bit. Next in line, and fast becoming my lens of choice, is the 50mm lens. The light in it is just wonderful. And that 70-300mm lens is becoming more useful to me as I continue to play with it.
Third, but probably first as well… taking some online photo courses. My absolute favorites have been Kat’s. And no, this is not a paid endorsement. She just makes me think, asks tough questions, but somehow gets to the heart of the matter of photography. I credit her lessons with helping me See creatively through whatever lens I use.
Fourth, and gaining importance as I continue…is committing to a 365 Project. I know. It doesn’t work for everyone. But it sure is helping me. It has become a part of my daily practice, my ritual, my way of looking at the world and finding the beauty. As I practice this daily habit there are days when the *click* happens, and many when it does not.
It’s all worth it. I’m sure there will be other factors that come into play as I continue this journey. Meanwhile, knowing my camera and lens, learning more from courses and from spending time with other photography friends, and just making the commitment to practice daily, all of it contributes to those creative breakthroughs…at least for me.