I am a restless soul. During the five years of this photographic journey, I have spent a lot of time trying to harness this restlessness. When that doesn't work, I try to find ways to embrace it. Restlessness is good to a degree, it keeps me striving forward, never content, always wanting to learn more. The downfall is that I have an extremely hard time sticking with anything. I get bored quickly.
I have completed two 365 days photography projects, and finished strong in one 100 day project. But I have also quit at least two 365 day projects and four 100 day projects, failing at my latest 100 day project just last month. For this latest 100 day project I started out so strong, using Susannah Conway's April Love for my daily prompts. The beginning of May it was starting to get harder and by the time we left for vacation on May 13, I was completely over it, although I did do the daily task for the first two days of vacation, and then that was it.
The photography conference I attended stirred many creative thoughts inside me, and the two day drive home from Massachusetts gave me lots of time to think...
I am going to try a new approach to projects. I stay strong and interested for the first month and then the fall off happens. What about doing one month projects?
With a new, more realistic, time frame in mind, I sat down at my desk with a yellow legal pad to give it some details.
How would I chose my subject for each month? It's no secret that I love on-line classes, so why not take one each month and devote the month to it. This could be a new class, or a class I have previously taken (hence the reason to always take life-time access classes). The class would dictate what my subject would be each month. From the class lessons, I could chose what I wanted each week's specific focus to be.
About the time I was writing all this down on my legal pad, an email dinged through - Select Creative Live classes on sale. Click. Hmm...here's one Creating Painterly Photographs taught by Kathleen Clemons. I had been hearing Kathleen's name a lot in the last few weeks - lives in Maine, loves Lensbaby lenses, award winning flower photographer. All good until the flower thing, I don't love to shoot flowers. I signed up. This would push me and hopefully harness my restlessness for a month.
I began June 1st. Kathleen shoots a lot with her 180mm macro lens. I don't have one, so what could I do instead? I put my 55-250mm zoom on, which I rarely use, put my camera on my tripod and went out to my flower beds. I found the challenges of not having a 180mm macro, but I also found joy in having my 55-250mm.
This first week has been a bit of a free-for-all, dabbling a little into each of the things learned in Kathleen's class. This second week I hope to pick a more specific focus from the things I enjoyed doing week one.
Week One Take Aways
- Tripod - I love my Canon 6D camera, but on a tripod I love my 70D and the only reason why is the articulating screen. I tend to shoot in Live View on the tripod, and I manually focus. The articulating screen makes composing so much easier, seeing the bigger picture, plus it is a life-saver for my back.
- North Door Light - A year ago I thought to set up still life shots in my garage - huge space and north facing, it took until this project to finally do it, the effect is quite amazing.
- Black Background - Loving my large piece of black foam core and my husband's clamps.
- Chaos - I am trying to embrace the "fill the frame" shots, but I love simplicity.
- Painterly - Delighted to be dabbling back in Photoshop with textures, and Topaz Labs Impressions.
- Farmers Market - There are always lovely fresh flowers to buy at the market.
- My Own Gardens - This project is filling me with love for my own garden.
I have been sharing my daily flower shot either on Facebook or Instagram and often both, what I am treasuring the most is the community and conversations that it is creating, even local non-photographer friends are sharing their flower photos from their garden. It seems everyone speaks the language of flowers.