We Simplify The Technical!

Specific projects and activities to help spark your creativity in your photography is the theme for episode 118 of The Understand Photography Show. Guest Chris Smith gives us step by step , specific actions to talk to help us bring some impact to our photography.

He even includes a link to his free ebook: Sparking Creativity.

Chris Smith Take Me To Your Leader

Sparking Creativity

with Chris Smith

Runs “Out of Chicago” workshops and conferences.

E-Book – 10 Projects to Spark Creativity

    Bettering your photography and how you see the world.

    Eye-opening projects to help you “learn to see”.

1.  Put camera in Black and White mode (or Monochrome)

  • If you’re shooting in RAW, the image will retain all of the color information.  
  • It will look B & W through the camera and give you a different perspective.
  • Color distractions disappear, leaving texture, line, and shape to come forward.

2.  In-Camera Motion

  • Panning – vertically or horizontally OR pick a detail on a moving subject and keep the camera trained on it as you pan.
  • Twist the camera in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion
  • Zoom Burst – in or out

“Why are you taking the photograph?  To document something perfectly or to convey the feeling of being in a place – to create a piece of artwork?”

3. A Long-Term Project (30 days to 365 days)

  • Focus on a theme.  Post one picture each day.
  • Ex. Patterns-Make sure the frame ONLY includes that pattern.

Place a contrasting item (color, texture, or shape) within the pattern.

You will quickly train your eye to see patterns all around you.

“You don’t know what your passion is?  Get out there, try new things, work on projects, get going.”

4.  A Different Lens

Fisheye – distorts reality, forces you to be creative.

– borrow one or find a cheap one (Rokinon or Sigma)

– small enough to take with you everywhere

* Tip the camera up or down, don’t put horizon line in the center of the frame*

5.  Another Different Lens

Macro – shoot 4”-5” away from every subject.

Try different angles, change your depth of field.

“Don’t just document.  Experiment.  Pick out PARTS of things to create something interesting with shapes that appear in nature or architecture, graphic symmetries and spirals.”

6.  Add a human element.

– Add a silhouette with an image of architectural interest, or people in interesting environments.

– It adds a bit of empathy to the image.

7.  Long exposures on a tripod.

– Water blur

– Lights at night – car trails, carnival lights.

– Slow shutter slightly to blur people.

8.  Night Photography

– As soon as the sun goes down – the blue hour, creates magical landscapes and cityscapes as the lights reflect off the ground a create a glow.

Finding Chris


Understand Photography

General Notes

What you need to learn for a solid photography education.  Watch our free video:


Ladies Only Trips:
Cuba – February 2 – 9, 2019  SOLD OUT!

Upcoming Trips:
Everglades 4 day Photo Adventure – February 7-10, 2019
St. Augustine – April 11-14, 2019
Florida’s Forgotten Coast – May 13-17,  2019

New Book!  Peggy Farren and Joe Fitzpatrick have published a book highlighting Florida’s Best Photo Spots!

Florida Photo Spots: Naples and Collier County by [Farren, Peggy, Fitzpatrick, Joe]

Understand Photography is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Chris Smith Nighthawks
Chris Smith Acadia trees
Chris Smith High Trestle Bridge
Chris Smith The Light instagram

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