There is nothing like a new challenge to spur creativity. My morning hikes have been wonderful, and giving myself the goal of creating and sharing one photograph per hike has given me the motivation to try something different.
In recent months, my photographic style has been very spare, with lots of open space. I love the simplicity and peace that space brings to an image! But open space is rare in the forest. Western Oregon’s forests are dense and verdant, so I’m learning to fill the frame again. I’m retraining my eye to see lines, color and space a new way.
I’m also playing with new processing techniques, on mornings when I have a little more time. My latest favorites have been created by blending multiple different photographs together. Maybe an app or two to shift colors, but otherwise created by layering and blending multiple photographs to create a rich tapestry of forest impressions. Here’s the first, called “Can’t See the Trees for the Forest.”
And, after several attempts that haven’t quite gotten where I want them, this morning I created another piece with a similar feel, called “Left Light.”
This technique is new. It’s as if I am painting with photographs. It’s not just altering the photographs with painterly techniques, which I’ve certainly done plenty of times, but using the photographs as the structure; the paint with which the final image is created. Layering them and combining them to create something new and unique. Look close and you will see the bits and pieces of the individual photographs. From far away it’s an impressionistic whole.
It’s a whole lot of fun, and frustration, at the same time. It’s a new way of approaching the creation of a finished piece. And this creative challenge comes only because I’ve given myself the goal to go out and hike, and capture and share a photograph of the forest each day.
Where are you challenging yourself these days?