Friday, August 17, 2012

Something New and Different

The last time we visited, I had a whole lot of nothing going on. I was spent. I was dry. I was tapped out. And I was all of this, despite a wonderful vacation and even some highly creative suggestions from my children!

But I gave myself some time, took a few days to breathe, and instead of just passively waiting and hoping for inspiration to hit, I chose to get out there and actively pursue that creativity. And because photography is my main creative outlet, I decided to try some new techniques and even stretch myself by going in an opposite direction from what I would routinely do.

Have you heard of scanography? It is the process of using a regular, everyday scanner, that would normally be used to scan a document, to create art. I produced the above image by placing the flowers on the glass of my scanner, covering it with a cardboard box I spray painted black, and then scanning as a jpeg. Because the flowers are three dimensional, I did have to do a bit of photoshop work to get the background a consistent black, but nothing too intense. It's a relatively simple process with endless possibilities. Check out a few of the cool scanography images on flickr!

I also tried a new technique I've never attempted before.....panning. Panning endeavors to give the feeling of motion through blur, while the subject remains in focus. To accomplish this, set your shutter speed relatively slow and while keeping the subject in the same area of the frame, follow the motion of the subject with your camera. Definitely not an easy feat (at least in my book), but certainly fun to try!

In addition to trying some new techniques, I went in an opposite direction from one of my traditional methods. Normally, I work very hard to get spot on focus. But I chose instead to shoot with blur. Talk about liberating! I was able to focus on capturing emotion, rather than a technically accurate photo. Note to this more often!

So the moral of the story is.....get out there, do something different! Try something new! Wake those sleeping neurons in your brain!

And while you are sharing your beautiful barn photos....share something in the flickr gallery that is completely different from what you would normally do or perhaps a new technique you've never tried. I know you'll not only enjoy the experience, but I think you'll be surprised at how it sparks your creativity!


Dotti said...

Wow, Stephanie! Just the words and advice I need to hear on this dreary Friday morning in Kentucky. I looked out to see grey skies and thought, "No barns today." Well, we'll see. Maybe grey skies and a falling-down barn are just the right combination.

All your photos are awesome but the flower photo is fantastic. Sounds like fun! I agree with you: Panning is tricky.


Kim Stevens said...

Well, that scanography is very cool Stephanie - wishing I had a printer that could do that! And I've really only tried panning with birds on the beach, I guess because there are always subjects readily available, but I have been wanting to try more. It is tricky! And well, that last one IS full of emotion...well done and so glad you got your mojo back!! xo

Carol said...

This is fascinating, Stepanie. I had never even heard of scanography before, and now I can't wait to play! I always meant to try the motion capture but haven't yet. This is a fun post, and I admire your energy - no grass will grow under your feet when it comes to creative inspiraation!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

What a doll you are, inspiring us so!! I, like the others really like that scanned project!! wow. I do have a scanner/ printer -- so looks like I need to do some playing huh?

This is exactly what I was hoping for when we started our FOL adventure... to inspire one another and AGAIN you did exactly that.

Thanks so much!


Sam said...

Stephanie, Nice shots. There is a photographer who,lives here in Merrimac, Harold Feinstein, who uses this process and has several books published - roses, orchids, butterflies and seashells. It looks like a fun process to try. I will post some shots of things I am trying - zooming while shooting and long exposures with people moving. I am still trying to "master" panning.

Dotti said...

ooooo Sam - This sounds like so much fun. Can't wait to see them!


Viv (modifica) said...

It's great to try new things it's liberating , no pressure

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the scanning technique. Your photo is so striking - I love it. I love hearing about new ideas. Your pans turned out really well too. I have done this in the past but not too much lately. Time for another go. I always feel refreshed and excited when I stretch myself. I have been trying to experiment with more techniques lately. Great encouraging post!

heyjudephotography said...

So glad you got your inspiration back Stephanie, but we all knew that you would! I have heard of scanning and thought, "what's the big deal?" Well now that I see your work of art i think, wow, maybe I should try this! I have done some panning work. It is difficult to get it right, but practice, practice, practice. And I usually love the soft focus photos that I see other photographer's doing, but I don't ever have the same feel for mine. I guess I have that "sharp focus" think stamped on my brain. I feel inspired to try some more. Love the photos. yay for creativity!

stephmull said...

Thanks, Dotti! Hope your dreary day is looking a little more sunny!!

stephmull said...

Yes, yes! You do need to do some's quite fun! Give it a try!

Natalie said...

Great pictures Stephanie. The bike picture is pretty awesome.
I haven't tried any techniques but I did go out of my comfort zone. I pretty much love taking pictures of everything except people and flowers. For some reason I find it very difficult to use the macro setting. Today I took your advice and took a picture of a flower in my garden. I'm not sure about the name of the flower but I did post it in the FOL gallery. Thanks for getting me to "shoot outside my box".

Deanna said...

ahh, so packed full of new inspiration. I have not heard of scanography...looks and sounds like fun..on my must do list. I have tried the panning...don't seem to be that good at it. Will have to give it another try. Tried scanning a lion pacing back and forth at the zoo but it did not turn out well. Thanks for all the great inspiration and glad you got your groove back.

terriporter said...

Such an inspirational post! I can't wait to get out and try these techniques! You're so right, when the doldrums hit the best remedy is to try something new. I have wanted to try panning but just haven't done it. And I've heard about scanography but haven't been inspired to try it until now. Love everything, Steph -- and wonderful photos to illustrate your words.

janice said...

Stephanie, love the scanography idea, i will definitely have to give this a try!

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