Experimental Photography – Getting Your Groove Back

Over the past few months, a lot of the well known blogging photographers like Chase Jarvis, David Hobby, Joe McNally, and Drew Gardner have been talking a lot about the value of shooting for yourself. Personal work is good for the soul.

Well, it happens that a few days ago I was in a real funk. I couldn’t get motivated to slog through the pile of office work I had stacked in my in-box, or the editing waiting for me in the depths of the hard drive. I find that times like these, when I ‘ not being very productive anyway are perfect times to get out an revive the creative juice flow by trying to shoot something new. My subject of choice is usually some type of abstract nature. The weather was lousy, gray and overcast with a little bit of rain. Not perfect landscape shoot weather, but then again, is there ever such a thing as perfect landscape weather? Suddenly I remembered the B+W 110 3.0 (10 stop Neutral Density filter) I bought months ago for shooting daylight long exposure photos. I have been meaning to try it out for ages, it’s still in the box. It’s just the type of thing that would lend itself to shooting on a less than perfect day. The filter would allow me to to take quite long exposures (2 minutes I discovered) which would blur the clouds, and water, while stationary objects remained sharp. All of a sudden, the funk was gone, replaced by creative excitement.

here are a couple of the results…

andrewdoran_com_EstuarySouth This is the Squamish Estuary, looking south towards the ocean

andrewdoran_com_Chief The same estuary area, looking east towards the Stawamus Chief, the second largest granite monolith in the world (Gibraltar is 1st)

I had planned to go to the old docks by the ocean too, but I got so into it at the estuary that I ran out of daylight. The sky even co-operated a bit, and opened some late in the day blue patches, providing me with some interesting cloud movement. Exposures were f22 @ 2 min.

No matter what your creative outlet is, taking some time to do something just for yourself always energizes. Write a poem, or a song, design you ultimate kitchen, paint, take some photos, whatever gets your mind going. After this little selfish outing, I came back to the office refreshed, and was able to tackle my work with enthusiasm. I also have a couple of new pieces that will likely end up on my wall.

Get out there and do something for yourself!