I am often asked what I do when I get in a rut creatively, or when I get bored with my images/processing/etc. I find that what helps is to give myself creative challenges to keep sharpening my skills and improving my Vision.
I am a huge believer in many of the exercises that David duChemin talks about in his eBooks “10″ and “10 More”, where David’s whole premise is based on ways to improve your craft without buying gear. With that in mind, I did 3 things this weekend that I haven’t done in a while. For our Faded & Blurred photo walk in Hollywood, I took 3 rarely used lenses, my 17-40mm f/4L, my 35mm f1.4, and my 100mm f/2.8 macro. Those are the only 3 lenses I used, not my comfortable, well loved 70-200mm or 24-105mm. I didn’t even pack them in the bag. And I still shot with 2 bodies, but 1 of them was loaded with film. Ilford 400 HP5 B&W or Kodak 100 Ektar. We’ll see how that turned out soon…
Then on Sunday, I took my favorite model (my daughter) out to my favorite spot (the Arboretum), and I only brought my 135mm f/2. I love this lens, I just don’t get to use it enough. But by limiting myself to just 1 focal length, it forces me to get creative, and MOVE, to get the framing, composition, and focus that I want.
Don’t have a prime? Then tape down your zoom to a particular focal length. If all you have is the 18-55 kit lens, and you are always at 18 or 55, tape it down at 28. My buddy Corey over at Last Minute Photo Studio mentioned grabbing a friend or family member and shooting off 400 images. Just get out, go shoot for 2 hours. And come join me at Vasquez Rocks on 3/27. Have fun. Remember why you fell in love with this in the 1st place.