Over the years, I’ve been known to periodically get myself into a photography rut. It usually occurs when I feel uninspired (well, duh), or just plain bored with my personal work. I’ve learned how to break-out of it by doing two things. The first is to allow myself a break. I used to judge myself when I didn’t feel like picking up my camera for days or weeks. I used to question my commitment and wonder if I was really a true artist since there were times when I just didn’t feel like taking a photo no matter how good the light was. I soon came to the realization that none of those things were true. Instead, it simply meant that I needed to hit the pause button to allow myself the space to focus on something else- even if that something was nothing- and to let myself be in that space for however long I wanted. I know now that with time my camera and I will inevitably be drawn to each other once again.
The second thing that helps me get back to photography, is to take a new project. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, just something to get me excited, or better yet, challenge me to learn something new. One of the things I’ve always loved to do is to photograph the same subject and scene from multiple vantage points, as well as play with the lighting and processing. It always challenges me to find new perspectives and make different images with a relatively static subject. I say “relatively” but usually I’m photographing children, so I roll with their flow. This is not only a useful exercise for seasoned photographers to practice, but also great for new photographers to see how many different images they can get just from simply moving their body and playing with the light.
So when my six-year old son recently climbed up on the kitchen counter while I was doing dishes, I knew it was a good opportunity for me to practice because he loves laying on the counter (go figure) and would probably stay there for a good long while.
And here are the images I captured that evening:
Taking in the Full Scene: This was my vantage point when I turned right as I washed dishes at the sink and saw him lying up there on the counter. I stood back and photographed the full scene to illustrate how ironic and a bit odd it is that he there. I also played with the processing and converted the image to black and white for a couple reasons. 1) due to the contrast in the image, and 2) I wanted the focus to be on him and not necessarily on the items on counter and all that.