YIKES! Did This Ever Speak To Me!

I was browsing the handful of blogs I like to visit regularly and this post on LifeDev caught my attention: How Not Knowing Can Unleash Your Creative Genius.  This is what I’ve always struggled with in terms of creativity.  To quote:

We’ve been taught that wisdom is about adding knowledge, and our innate wisdom, creativity and responsiveness is devalued as childish, impulsive and naive…

It’s a funny thing.  I do listen to my innate wisdom in other contexts, such as parenting or running our business, but somehow it gets turned off with most of my creative endeavors.  The only time I know that I do just make it up as I go is with knitting.  I’m always making changes to patterns (many times because I *hate* to join seams and will do anything to avoid it).  And many times I don’t even work from a pattern at all and let my experience guide the stitches.

Maybe it’s the subjective nature of some arts that makes me want to perfect my creativity.  I mean, if I make a wrong choice in knitting, I can see it.  I’ll know if the sweater doesn’t fit right or if one end of the blanket is wider than the other.  If I write crappy fiction, will I know?  If my photos aren’t using the right technique will someone tell me?


Feeling Crabby

All the hermit crabs came out to play when we sprayed them down:

Big Crabby

Two Crabs

They are really a lot more interesting than I would have guessed.  The big one is always trying to escape the cage.  He made it out once and jumped to the floor and craked his shell.  Didn’t seem to bother him at all.  He didn’t even switch to an uncracked one.

Photo Course – Lesson Three

Lesson three of Jodi Coston’s free photography course is about lenses.  I only have two: the one that came with my D40 kit and a zoom I bought later to get pictures of the kids when they don’t know it and therefore can’t make weird faces or run away.  They are:

AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II
AF-S DX VR Zoom- NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED

At some point I knew what all those letters meant.  Now if I could just remember what the IF-ED and ED II meant….Just at the Nikon site: An ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element minimizes chromatic aberration, contributing to superior optical performance. The IF is possibly Internal Focusing?  I would love to get a macro lens.  Wish I could get one before the praying mantises (how do you pluralize that?) hatch in the next few weeks.

The lesson also talks about tripods.  I don’t use one much.  Most of my photos are of the kids and/or nature stuff (including the pets).  Usually when we’re out at a park or in the yard.  But if I do still life or buildings I try to remember the tripod (and the timer if I have to use slow shutter speed).

The two assignments are:

Assignment 1: Set your camera up on its tripod or other sturdy object. Take a photograph using your widest angle lens possible and another using your longest lens possible. Compose them both so they are as interesting as possible.

I don’t have a wide angle, so I didn’t do this one.

Assignment 2: Again, set your camera up and take two photographs – this time they should be exactly the same, but use your aperture to make your subject the only thing in focus in one of them and then to make everything in the picture in focus in the other one. Have fun and be creative!

I tried this one, but not too sure how successful I was.  Depth of field is one of those things that I understand in theory, but not practice.  If I purposely try to manipulate the depth it never works.  But I have some wonderful accidents where I LOVE the way the DoF makes the shot.  Here are today’s examples:

My favorite DoF shot, completely an accident:


Not Much Creativity Going On….

It must be this time of year– I just look up this post from February 2008– Searching— about losing my creativity.  But there’s also so much going on right now and the first things I usually shove away when I’m stressed are probably the things I need the most.  I haven’t taken any photos other than the obligatory holiday snaps of the kids (and even those are pretty bad!).  I only picked up my knitting because it was an inexpensive way to make presents.

And I haven’t written any fiction– In fact I’ve barely kept up with my books reviews at BellaOnline.  Come to think of it, that is probably because my reading has declined.  Usually I always have a book in hand (or purse!) for those spare moments that I can delve in, but even that had become too much effort.

I think I’m about to get back in the swing of it all, but it feels odd to get back in.  Why is that?  Has it become outside my comfort zone in just a few months?  Or is it a fear that all of this “creativity” is frivolous?  I think that’s more it for me.  I wish I could silence that little voice (the one that doubles as my internal editor– my word he’s busy!) that guilts me into leaving all my hobbies.  “He” wonders how I can waste my time fooling around with the camera or liquid binder when we’re struggling to make ends meet?  Sure wish I could get him to shut up!  Anyone have a good way to get through this kind of stuff?

Photo Course- Lesson Two

You can see the whole lesson here.  It’s about shutter speed and aperture.  And I have to say it STILL won’t stick in my head.  I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to get this bit down, but it never stays with me, so I’m always fiddling and taking too long to set up a shot (which explains some of the problems I had at the park a couple weeks ago!)  The first two assignments are to take a landscape shot and change aperture and shutter speed to see the changes.  I wanted to get out this week, but the weather has been crazy!  It rained all last weekend (and my poor first-year Boy Scout was on a hiking trip in part of the Appalachian Trail).  Then yesterday, it SNOWED.  Not what I expect for October in the Philadelphia area.  And today is really cold (and I’m a wimp when it comes to cold).  So.  I may do some shooting out my back window 🙂

The third assignment I should be able to do, but I’m drawing a blank.  It says: Go out and take some pictures using shutter speed – either fast or slow – to create an effect. Be creative and have fun! Should be easy, right? Well, while I keep trying to find something fast, here are some from the past that I think fit this idea:

The bike ride one is from the same set that I used for this project.

A Few Photos

Since I’m busy at the Muse Online Writer’s Conference this week, these are a few shots I got last week at a new park. This is right around the corner and there are paths winding all through the woods. I had trouble with exposure since we were moving between a bright day and the shade. I would have liked to stop for more shots, but I had the boys with me and I was afraid I’d lose them. We even found and old stretch of railroad.

Lesson 1 – Assingment 2

Take photos from different viewpoints–