Thursday, June 29, 2017

Just Play

By Cathy

Summertime and playing go hand in hand. Summertime brings baseball, pool time, picnics, and vacations; lots of fun and lots of playing time. I can remember when I was a child looking forward to summer, because we could play all day. And play we did! I remember hours of sitting on a hot sidewalk playing Jacks. I even remember one summer my sister and I played a game of Monopoly all summer. That’s right, the game went on all summer. We just kept borrowing money from the bank!! I’m sure you have fond memories of playing as a child and even as an adult.

My goal this summer is to have fun and play with my camera. The idea of playing and having fun with my camera came as I was reading a photography book written by Kim Manley Ort, who is a contemplative photographer and author. There is a chapter in her book, Adventures In Seeing, where Kim reminds us to “never lose that sense of play, curiosity, exploration, and discovery.” On Kim's blog she has a very good article on The Value of Play in Photography.

I was flipping through a book about my camera while thinking of a way to play and discovered a feature that allows me to create photos with special effects provided by the camera processor; not in post-processing. The one I chose to play with first was Watercolor which creates a look with blurring and runny colors. I’ve been spending time outside creating watercolor pictures of everything I can think of. Did I get any breathtaking photos? No, but that wasn’t the purpose. The purpose was to have a little fun and I definitely did that. I’m even going to print some of them to remind me to play more often.

How long has it been since you just had fun and played with your camera? I’m not talking about taking pictures with it. I’m talking about having fun and playing! How long since you took a picture that made you laugh out loud because you were having so much fun? If you’re like me it’s probably been a while. One of the photos I took did make me laugh! I took a picture of a small piece of lichen floating in water. When I pulled it up on my computer it looked like the face of some a happy monster. Think Sesame Street Monsters!

To get your creative juices flowing, I’ve made a short list of photography projects that would be fun.
  • go on a scavenger hunt with a list of objects to find
  • photograph only one color
  • shoot only reflections
  • create abstract photos
  • shoot without looking into the viewfinder or the LCD screen
  • photograph children’s toys

Summertime is a great time to play a little with our cameras. Try it! You might just find yourself smiling or laughing at what you create or discover.


Sandra said...

Well you have had fun using a painting feature on your camera, Cathy! It's rather amusing to imagine what our photos would look like as a painting. Now you know! Does it make you want to take up painting with a brush in real life? That could be something rather interesting to do!

I agree that play is a good thing to remember when we go out on a photo shoot!

Carol said...

FUn oost, full,of great ideas! Thanks!

Dotti said...

These are such fun! I can see these on canvas hanging in your home. And you did it in phone. I'm jealous!

heyjudephotography said...

These are so fun Cathy! This post makes me wish I could paint.

terriporter said...

Well, how much fun is this? We all tend to take our photography so seriously and just letting loose and having some fun is just what the doctor ordered. This reminds me of how much fun I used to have with the apps on my phone which I have sorely neglected lately in favor of more realistic photos but I am missing the fun of playing with my photos! Thanks for the little nudge to do just that! Oh, and that little monster is quite adorable too!

Anonymous said...

When I see photos that have been altered like this, it does make me want to get my watercolors out again - it's been years since I've used them and I used to enjoy it so much. I love this effect that your camera does, Cathy. Your "happy monster" made me laugh! One thing I'm curious about: does the camera save the original (unedited or normal) image as well as the "painted" one?

Sarah Huizenga said...

Summertime is the perfect time to play! Love your watercolor photos, summer is the perfect time for that too.

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