Finding the kid in me – Packaging material Exercise #03

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I decided to take yesterday’s statement about creativity seriously and built a skyline out of packaging blocks. I used a door as a backdrop, nothing fancy in other words. I decided to go for a silhouette and tried different lightning scenarios. At the end I used two strobe lights, one with a barn door and a blue gel and the other with white light. In a way it felt awkward to do things that you have done as a child on the other side it was a lot of fun to do this. I am curious where else this exercise will lead me. Have fun with your creativity!

Packaging material Exercise #03


Creativity means to connect with the kid in you!  Children are incredibly creative. When I was a child (before electronic toys, computers ….) I built all kinds of things out of packaging material. I remember that my parents gave us once big boxes that we used as cars. We cut out windows etc. This week I ask you to collect all kinds of packaging material and create a composition that you photograph.

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I collected candy wrappers that I folded and put into a chocolate box to create some sort of “flower” where the chocolate box is the stem and the wrapping material the flower petals. I admit, it takes a lot of fantasy and goodwill to see the flower but I liked the idea.

Don’t forget to have fun with this exercise!

The button – (exercise #2, tri-unity)

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There was a paper clip right besides an air can in my office. That started the creative process for this image. I bend the clip and pushed it into the straw of the can. Then I had to find something light and I found this button in the kitchen. My composition was born. I decided to open up my lens to put the emphasis on the button and use the blue of the can as a backdrop for the button.

Enjoy and happy experimenting! Never forget, with the help of a little bit of creativity and imagination you can create great compositions and interesting images.

Energy squeeze – (exercise #2, tri-unity)

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This exercise grew on me quite a bit this week. I am constantly looking for things that don’t belong together. Yesterday I found a box of old shotgun shells and an old rechargeable battery. The primer and the positive tip of the battery caught my attention, one is sticking out the other is not. They yellow colors don’t match. They have in common that both have somewhat stored energy. Then I discovered the clamp and I got my composition together in no-time.

Enjoy and have fun with ideas.

Cat cuisine – (exercise #2, tri-unity)

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This wonderful recipe calls for dry cat food, a strawberry and ranch sauce. These are my three items that in my mind absolutely don’t belong together. I put them in a small blue bowl to create a nice complementary background color. The “face” on the ranch sauce is the “icing on the cake.” Bon appetit and happy shooting (not eating!)

Connected – (2nd exercise, tri-unity)

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One of my instructors once said: “If you need inspiration for your art, go into your garage.” I visited my garage and took the tennis racket, went into the kitchen and grabbed a metal scrubber and out of my office I took an audio cable. Three items, that normally don’t belong together. I decided for a black background and indirect lightning. The I played with different compositions and this one I liked the best.

Enjoy, have fun and think before you shoot!

Tri-unity (2nd Exercise)

The 2nd exercise deals with compositions. Developing your photographic eye means seeing and creating a composition in the viewfinder of your camera. This exercise will help you to to arrange different things together. I ask you to take three things that normally are not together and organize them in a way that they can be photographed. If you do so, you will have to start by looking for things that normally are not together. In my example I took a sweater, peas and pliers and put them together. I tried several arrangements and I tried different camera settings. I finally shot the picture with an 85mm portrait lens at f1.8 to create a very shallow depths of field because I wanted to put the emphasis on the tips of the pliers.  This exercise forces you to think and to try different options. Hopefully at the end of the week you will have created some beautiful and exiting compositions. Don’t forget to have fun with your camera!

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Shadow on a fence board exercise #1 (natural and man made lines)

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Today I was pretty frustrated. I did not see anything new. I was just ready to move on to a new exercise, but I did not. It happened to me before that I thought everything I shot that day was “garbage.” Frustration is part of being a photographer and perseverance is too. When you shoot on a theme, don’t let frustration stop you. Take a break and get right on it again.

I shot this image showing the man made line where the wood was cut, the natural structure lines in the wood and the shadow line of a plant.

Happy shooting and remember regardless how you feel get the shot!

Dying leaf on concrete (exercise #1)

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When you start looking for natural and man made lines you start seeing them everywhere. This is my experience after doing this exercise for a few days. I know that I would have never shot this image before I started my photographic exercises because I simply would have overlooked it. Photography starts with open eyes and ends with a great image. Keep up the exercise and be surprised what else shows up.

Happy exercising!

Dandelion and hose (exercise #1)

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I saw this morning a few dandelions in my front yard. I added the water hose and I had the perfect composition for natural and man made lines. There is indeed a great deal of tension in this image as a result of the composition and of the color tension. The “green” hose does not match the “green” lawn while the “white” Dandelion perfectly fits into the dark background.