Change Everything; Getting Creative--Just For Fun Of It
Driving to the lab a while
back, I was listening to a National Public Radio show and a caller asked
the guest, "Do birds fly for fun?" Great question, I thought.
We know they fly for food, for safety and protection, for a change in
geography, but do they ever fly for the sheer exhilaration of it? I
got to the lab before the guest responded, so I don't know the
answer. But I began to think about the question in terms of professional
photographers. We shoot for profit and promotion, but do we sometimes
shoot just for the fun of it?
But if you take a good look
at the photos here--all images I took just for fun--you'll
notice that there seems to be a contradiction. The pictures were all taken
with a 4x5 camera--not exactly the format that comes to mind when
you're thinking about having fun taking pictures.
Now, I'm not suggesting
you run out and buy a 4x5 camera--but I'm saying it wouldn't
be a bad idea, either. What I suggest is that you first stick with your
chosen format, but change everything else. Shoot subjects you're
not familiar with and may not be comfortable with, just for the sake of
doing it. Shoot with black and white instead of color; shoot with a lens
you've never tried before. If you shoot everything handheld, put
your camera on a tripod. Or vice versa. You may find what I've found--that
the essence of fun is the creative freedom found in doing something that
you don't usually do. And if it doesn't turn out, well, no
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