22 May 2013

Looking for Something Different to Shoot?

“I shutter to think how many people are underexposed and lacking depth in this field.” 
– Rick Steves

Art Model, doll ©2013 Terrell Neasley

Including myself, I've got at least 4 other photographer friends who are looking at that next big thing or trying to find something else to work on with a camera. Coming up with new ideas can be tricky, especially when you are used to shooting one specific genre of photography. Its even harder when you are trying to find a new and interesting angle in that same genre. I put myself in both categories. I want to do new and I also want to give a little punch to my nude work.

Art Model, doll ©2013 Terrell Neasley
So here are a few things to consider, even if you are looking to dust off that old camera and remove the lens cover for the first time in ages. First, look at photos! You can review online sites such as Flickr or 500px, pick up your favorite paperback magazine, or check out the latest "how-to" books, find great work and study them. Spend time catching up with other artists in your field and see what they are doing. Look at the images you like and ask yourself what elements or concepts about the image got your attention. I'm not saying you have to copy or jump on the latest bandwagon, but often submerging your mind in imagery can act like a primer to get the creative flow to pumping.

Art Model Faerie, demonstrating
long-exposure, light-painting, and stoboscopic flash,
©2012 Terrell Neasley
Second, in addition to different genres of photo, you can try your hand at new concepts in photo. Its one thing to go from fashion photography to sports, but what about doing long- exposures or light painting? This is one of my areas of concentration lately. What about branching out even further and trying some time-lapse work? Ever work with flash? ...possibly so. But have you used REAR-CURTAIN SYNC? Ever clicked over to the STROBOSCOPIC feature? If these ideas aren't as forthcoming, then try this: Whatever it is that you normally do, MOVE IN CLOSER! Try a prime (fixed focal length) lens, like a 35mm or a 50mm and come in closer to your subject for a different perspective.

“If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough” 
– Robert Capa

Art Model, doll ©2013 Terrell Neasley
Fellowship with other photographers. Join a club, meetup group, or just find a gaggle of photogs to hang with and go shooting. Chances are, you are not in this alone. You MUST know at least ONE other friend who is an aspiring pixel-punisher. Team up and go someplace to shoot, whether it be local or a day-trip. Find some place neither of you have yet visited and explore. B&C Camera is an excellent place to learn. Several photo regulars who are experts in their fields come to "shoot the breeze" over coffee, bagels and cream cheese on just about every Saturday afternoon. Hanging out at the camera store and talking with other like-minded individuals is bound to trigger an idea or two. At the very least, you'll develop friendships that can help build your foundation in photography. I say this because this was an excellent source for me when I moved to Vegas and transitioned from film into digital photography for the first time. So I'm passing this nugget of a resource on to you.

Art Model, doll ©2013 Terrell Neasley
An often overlooked idea is to RENT SOMETHING! You can rent a new lens like a wide-angle or even a fish-eye lens to give you a different perspective on your work. You can rent a completely new system or brand if you think you might want to eventually buy or just rent on the occasions you need it. I'm considering the Sony RX-1 to purchase later this summer. So I plan on renting it for $150 for a week's use to see how I like the performance of the camera as well as judging how well I can get used to having a fixed 35mm lens and no viewfinder. This is a full-frame camera for a quarter of the cost of a Leica equivalent. I can even try both and compare the systems. BorrowLens.com or LensRentals.com are excellent sources for this. If you are local to Las Vegas or visiting, be sure to check out B&C Camera rental gear, ready for immediate pick-up.

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