In life & in the creative process, take what you’ve got, limits & imperfections, & just go for it. Step over the fear of the outcome you expect & do it anyway. Fire off a shot you know -by the numbers- isn’t expected to work well. Take it. Hold your breath & wait a moment.
Let it flop. Let it be ugly, imperfect, unfocused, a waste of your finite energy and irreplaceable time. Just don’t let it slip by.
So what if it doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped? Here’s proof you were there, you put your life into something that you gave a damn about, you were creating, not for anyone but yourself, for whatever reason you like, or no reason at all. Proof of life when motivation feels like it flatlined months ago.
Let it be a reminder of that time you saw an opportunity & took it. It cost you something, but it was worth it.
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If you’re still reading & we’re still talking cameras, #justgoshoot
Never underestimate the creative potential of simple machines.
This whiz-bang “Apple Peeler Corer” kitchen accessory did more for my kids’ snacks than save me prep time. It got them excited to make (and devour) their own Apple Slinky.™
Kids who “didn’t like apples” started asking for seconds after watching the solid fruit spin through and exit as tasty spirals.
Today’s reminder: You don’t need fancy camera setups to enjoy making images.
(Are you reading this on the last device you used to snap an image, or is that device within arm’s reach? Precisely.)
This winter I picked up an Instax instant film camera and it quickly became the Apple Slinky of picture taking among my minions. Sure they can all snap on phones and tablets but seeing a photo appear and holding a print in seconds is pure magic.
What simple tools are right in front of you? Let’s put them to use making art, not excuses.
Your cohort in creativity, eB
(PS – this post has affiliate links. If you want to try out a fun way to make apple snacks or instant prints using the simple tools above, buying them through these links drops change in the tip jar for more apples and film. Thanks!)
Construction paper scraps, glue & glitter blobs all around. Mass-produced chalk hearts stamped with dearest sentiments. Chocolates filled with a range of cough syrup to toothpaste just waiting to startle taste buds in a game of cocoa-coated roulette. It’s Valentine’s Day week and love is in the air.
And if these don’t exactly scream eternal endearment, I hear ya.
I’m all for love (and chocolates) and have learned by now it’s more than just cards, crafts and nice thoughts once a year. Among other things, it takes work, patience, and good communication. But don’t worry, this isn’t a relationship advice column… or is it?
Can you feel the love?
Let’s talk. It’s been a while since your shoot and I’d love to know what made it perfect for you. Or, maybe you got a chocolate full of something unexpected and stomached it anyway, not wanting to offend.
Liked it or… grinned through it, I’d like to hear from you.
My “serious” cameras were away in my bedroom when I was making Saturday morning breakfast and saw the sunrise streaming through the curtains. Outdated functioning 2011 refurbished smartphone camera was nearby and caught it before the lighting changed. Years before smartphones crashed the photo-making party it was up to me to throw camera gear in a bag and remember to take it with me if I expected to make use of creative moments. Nowadays… you’ve got it in your pocket.
The best camera is the one you’ve got with you when inspiration strikes. Post a #NoFilter or edit to your heart’s content with apps of your choice.
I was an instant fan of square film negatives when I shot a Bronica SQ-Ai for college courses. (Find one here on eBay) Instagram is one of my favorite places to share & see square images today.
Tip 2: Start where you are
These images are all from around the house and yard. Some while making meals, most during busy weekdays full of kids doing homework, getting ready for activities, washing up, making other meals, and in constant motion. No exotic locations, just sights that caught my eye on site and were snapped before they were gone.
Practice seeing details and waiting for images to line up right where you are. These reflexes are key to telling wedding day stories full of details and fleeting moments, and some of my favorite photos of my kids growing up are the ones taken on such “ordinary” days mentioned above.
Tip 3: Simplify
Step closer. Look for details. Cut out clutter in the background.
Don’t like what you see in the frame? Move your feet. Fill the shot with your subject.
Turning these snaps of afternoon lighting into high contrast black and white images is simple with one of my favorite apps – VSCOcam. Presets and fine tune adjustments in VSCOcam and Instagram get the look I want from the shot on the screen.
Bonus: Take it or regret a missed opportunity
With plentiful digital camera & smartphone cloud storage this is a no-brainer. No excuse for passing up a shot when you have a camera and abundant means to store the image.
Daylight peeking over the rooftop warmed and melted the snow in the image below. This image would further disappear the longer I waited to capture it. I took my own advice and doubled back to take this photo.
Got your camera out and can’t get the shot you want? Wonder what those buttons and menus on your camera do? Tired of reading screens and manuals and just want to go shoot? Book a one-on-one tutorial session with me on topics you choose, Q&A, and demonstrations.
It’s real-world use for all that technology packed in your camera, explained to help you get the photos you’re after.
#nofilter needed while out on a December day that felt more like early spring than a year end holiday countdown.
Happened upon a little beam of warm sunlight making shadows through this bench. Kids are calm, film camera out of the bag to work on completing an old roll of 35mm I know I’ll leave sitting for ages. #istillshootfilm – and I leave it undeveloped for years.
The shutter click is a cathartic song of simpler times, the image making process is merely a pause in the routine of our days so easily lost in the shuffle.
To be clear, I don’t want those days back – they were cashed in to pay my fare to today. My manual focus lenses couldn’t see this far ahead and tomorrow is still beyond my field of view.
Quiet reminiscence of the eventful year winding down and thoughts to days ahead with those I love. Lens capped & camera back in the bag as the evening calm yields to homework & dinner routines. I crave the quiet calm already. I’ll be back soon.
The last day of summer vacation winds down as the exposure dials hit their limits and rolls of film wind back into canisters, the last of the instant film ejects, and a memory card is downloaded. Today was a naturally great day for making photos. Plenty to look back on as the summer concludes and the new school year approaches.
Instagram would feel left out, so I threw it some photos of film gear and prints.
And then the brainstorms hit minutes before thunderstorms arrived, the kids and I took as much camera gear outside as I could remember where it was squirreled away, and set up a self-timer shoot to end the summer properly. Kodaks and Argus and Minoltas, oh my! Kodak Instamatic, a few One Step Sx-70 Polaroids, Argus C4, 35mm Nikons from fully manual FM to fully auto N65, bags of accessories to boot.