Creative Vision

Discussions on the creative vision and process of photography.

Dog, How’d You Get So Happy

Who’s The Happy Puppy Dog?

For the most part, dogs tend to have a happy look to them. This applies to the stuffed animal dog as well.

I wanted to challenge myself a bit to attempt to have an object “express” or convey an emotion. Typically you will here photographers talking about high or low key images to convey emotion/mood. Others will talk about adding a high or low perspective to convey the same. These techniques were used along with the human brain to interpret body language.

You don’t have to be an expert in canine behavior to assign a human mood or emotion to a dog. A simple head-tilt can communicate comic, inquisitive, or disease.

Due to poor technique and lack of oversight as I was shooting, the “sad” images will need to be shot again. The “happy” images are alright with a few exceptions. BUT that is not the point of the post.

Dog in a square frame
Dog in a square frame

I made use of two flashes for this image. A Nikon in a small softbox and a Minolta off in the distance to cut the shadow in the background and bring in some extra light to the overall scene.

Dog with a silly posture
Dog with a silly posture

In case you want to know, his name is Dog. He has been with us for about 8yrs. The lighting is the same as described above. I made use of some dogs upside down posture when fooling around or resting.

Portrait of Dog
Portrait of Dog

It will be curious to see if the same sense of emotion/mood can be conveyed by an image of, say a pencil or apple? As mentioned, lighting and camera angle will play a major part in the photographer’s “message”. Lets not forget about some of the more subtle cues and contributors such as background and props even graphic/text overlay.

What Does Your Photography Do For You?

Why do the photography that you do?

Photography may be her thing?
Photography may be her thing?

You’ll find all kinds of reasons that people will take part in photography. Some call it art, a hobby or a job. In the end, why do you take or make pictures?

A few recurring themes that come up are the romantic reasons. Such as; being born into the craft, taking pictures was a creative outlet for some life stress or they found inspiration from someone. There are also the more practical reasons. They picked up a camera a liked it. They found that they were good at it and enjoy it. Or, they’re good at it and need to make money.

All this still doesn’t provide much insight as to what your photography does for you. If you are having trouble with this question for whatever your reasons are, read about photography from professional photographers. Armature and hobbyist photographers are also a fantastic source, it’s a matter of finding them, hoping they have their own thoughts “out there” or you can talk to them. The books that I have found to be the most value are those of Joe McNally and David DuChemin.

What you will find in their style of writing is story telling and reflection. You get a sense of what they get out of photography. It could be the adventures that they take to get an image. The people they meet that make the photo matter or the satisfaction knowing their image(s) means/impacts themselves or someone else.

Take/Make images for yourself. Admire and study the images that move/inspire you. Feel proud of the images you are commissioned for, they are yours with your signature style. It is not always an easy road. Like anything, if you enjoy it, do it for yourself.

Future photographer honing her skills.
Future photographer honing her skills.

Developing Your Creative Vision

Do You Have Creative Vision?

What do I mean by that question first of all. I’ll first make a short story a bit long. When I was learning more about photography, there was lots of reference to creativity and having a creative eye. I had trouble with this concept as I have always had an issue with creativity.

Over time and many more references of being creative, I’ve been able to start to discover and embrace my creative side. It took me a long time to tap into it. My secret that works for me. Pick up the camera and go. No matter how tired I am or not in the mood, just do it. There have been many times when I head out the door or set up a mini-studio for product-type shots and I get nothing. Other times, I’m hooked and can’t stop.

Where’s The Inspiration?

My inspiration actually does come from viewing so many of other peoples images. Through, Flickr, Gurushots and yes, even Facebook. There are images that I see and want to try to replicate. The more I try the more inspired I get to try other things.

Sometimes I’m given a task to shoot a scene or some equipment. These are sometimes intimidating as I’m shooting for someones interest. I get as much information as possible so that I can get a clear idea and image in my head. Sometimes I nail it, others time not so. And that it OK, it forces me to explore how to can better capture the required shot.

I remember once I needed to capture an entire room and to make it interesting. After several shots and reviewing them, I experimented with different lighting only to land on light painting.

Painting With Light

The technique of painting with light is fairly straight forward. Set your ISO to 100, aperture to f/11 and a shutter speed longer than 10sec. The shutter speed will be the only variable that changes depending on how much you are “painting”. For my final image, I “painted” for about 30seconds with a large flashlight around the room. The effect was sort of an underwater feel. Unfortunately, the image wasn’t selected for the poster. It doesn’t matter as I was/am proud of that image. I felt it was creative for me.

Get To The Point

So, what’s my point? Some of you are able to “see” your image before making it, your pre-visualization. I’ve got a tough time with that concept. Maybe you are like me and you have to actually be shooting to get the creative juices flowing to land on the image(s) you at least had an idea about. Either way, the more we do the better we get at it.

Keeping doing…