Joined November 2007

Peter was a professional medievalist, freelance photographer, artist and sometime musicologist, philosopher, essayist, videographer,...

Challenge yourself. Feel the FEAR.

It’s safe inside your box. You know where everything is. You think that you’re being a creative. You’re not. You’re a replicator. You apply the same techniques to the same subjects with the same feel. You may as well be one of those market spray-can artists, doing banal sunsets with a casual swish of aerosol to a formula that they devised years ago. Stop kidding yourself.

Here’s my challenge for you all. Do something different. Smash a gaping hole in the wall of your box, and crawl into the light, naked without the familiar clothing of your accustomed subjects, equipment and techniques. Feel the fear coldly claw at your belly as you gird yourself for the tribulations that lie ahead.

You always shoot landscapes? Shoot people, candidly, with a telephoto instead of your wunder ultra-wide angle zoom. You always shoot people? Leave the short telephoto in the bag, grab a wide angle and shoot landscapes. You always shoot small? Shoot large, and give yourself a healthy dose of creative agoraphobia. You always see the sweeping vistas? Shoot the leaf, not the forest. You’re a black and white afficianado? Boost the saturation and get colourful. You enjoy high key? Blacken your soul, and go for low key. You love the f.64 dudes? Open up to the possibilities of selective focus and twist the dial to the seldom used f.2 end of the ring.

It’s all just recording light digitally or through the agency of happy little silver halides. A bit of fear is good for the soul. You never know, but whole new worlds of creative possibilities may open to you. You’ll doubtless learn something, and very likely you can bring that new learning back to enhance your normal style of shooting.

Get a different set of eyes, and see the world of your photography again. You won’t regret it.

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