Posts Tagged ‘creative’

First Look Photo: Keeping it Fun and Creative

May 3, 2017

I just spent one year studying photography with the New York Institute of Photography, and learned a lot about the craft, and business of photography, but in order to keep my passion alive, I also have to keep it fun and creative.  This is why I have been learning how to use the Enlight App on my IPhone.  Today’s shot was one I created on the app.

fun shot

Photo Friday: Shocking moments.

June 5, 2015

There are two types of photographs that I am obsessed with capturing, but as yet, have not caught the perfect moments.  These photographs are waterfalls, and lightning.  Lightning is easy enough to capture, as today’s photos show, but the shot I am after is a strike that spans the length of Portland.  I have seen many of these types of shots, but most, I have seen have proven to be composites of multiple frames.  The shot I want to capture needs to be done in one shot.

Today’s shots were taken during a recent storm through the area, and I took 399 shots to get these three.  I hope you enjoy.

lightning one

lightning two

lightning three

Photo Friday: Shadow Play

March 6, 2015

Today’s picture came courtesy of a sunset.  One of the biggest photo clichés is, of course, the sunset.  Everyone with a camera has hundreds of pictures, at least, of sunsets.  To be fair, no two sunsets are exactly the same (foregrounds, cloud formations)  all different.

In the case of today’s photo, I decided to show the beautiful effect the sunset was having on my surroundings, rather than the sun.  I still get the warm glow, and with the angle of the sun through my window, it created a perfect silhouette of the flowers on my entertainment center.

flowery shadow

Sometimes the sun is the only light source you will ever need.

Photo Friday: Can you tell the difference?

February 27, 2015

On today’s video, on my NaturallyPhotographic channel on YouTube,  I am talking about how good photographs come from the photographer, not the camera.

Digital Rev has a series of videos in which they give a professional photographer a really cheap camera, and have them take pictures with it.  The resulting photos are always good, proving that the photographer is the key to better pictures; not the camera.

When people come up with “bad” pictures, they try to justify it by saying, “Well, I do have a cheap camera.”  This leads many people to believe that when they see really good pictures, it must be a superior camera.

On this video, I showed four photographs I took.  Two were taken with an SLR camera, and the other two were taken with a point and shoot.  I asked people to leave it in the comments which is which.  I’m going to ask you to do the same.  Here are the photographs.

guitar man

unrelated twinshold

snowy winter

Here is the link to my latest video.

Lessons from a Turtle!!!

June 18, 2012

I don’t get out to Hinkley Park as often as I like, but I will always be grateful for one thing; that is, the lesson I learned at this park.

A few years ago, I would ride my bike past this park almost daily, but it looked more like a parking lot with a power station.  The only indication I had that it was a park was the sign next to the road.  When I did get around to going further in, I was highly surprised to find a beautiful nature trail surrounding two beautiful ponds.

At this point I think I should back track a little.  I’m the type of nature photographer that has a list of subjects that I want to photograph while I still live in Maine.  One of those subjects was a turtle sunning itself out of the water.  This is where Hinkley Park came in handy.

Now that we’ve circled that wagon, it’s time complete the circle and talk about the lesson I learned from this.  When I first started walking around the ponds, I heard there were turtles in them, and that this was a great place for finding them, however, I couldn’t find them at first.  Two years ago, I was walking around taking shots, with no real direction when I saw a turtle by accident, swimming under the bridge I was crossing.  After a short time, and a little more practice, I got to the point where I couldn’t stop finding them.

Now, every time I go to Hinkley Park, I can take as many shots as I want, because I know how to find them.

The lesson I gained from this, for those who didn’t get it yet, when you have a hard time finding solutions to problems, always remember the solutions are there.  All you need is a little time, and practice, before you start seeing them all the time.

Can you find the turtle in this?

Leave your answer in the comments below.

Announcement: The year in poetry!!!

December 4, 2011

For those of you who don’t watch my videos on let me first say, “Shame on you!”  Just kidding, but it would be nice to see your views.

I recently posted a video titled “One year of poetry!!!”  This video introduces a project I will be doing starting on Christmas day, this year, and ending Christmas day 2012.  Every single day, for the entire year, I will come up with a poem, post a video of the poem, and put it on my blog.  Some of these poems will be accompanied by a fitting photograph.

I am starting this project for two reasons.  The first reason is to give me a reason to practice my writing every day, with no chance of an excuse.  The second reason is to promote creative writing to those who want to write, but don’t think they have the time.  The poems I come up with will be freestyle, and the topics will be all over the place, especially since I’m looking to have others give me a lot of the topics.

This brings me up to the other point of this announcement.  If you are reading this, and have any topics I can use; and give you a shout out when I use it; let me know in the comments.  The only request I have is you keep the topics clean, and family friendly.  If you can’t give me a topic, please spread the word about the project.  I would love the idea of this project inspiring others to work on their own creative writing projects.

Whether you can help by topics, or promotion, let me know so I can thank you as it deserves.  Thank you for your help, and I hope you will watch the videos.



Rock the boat!!!

April 6, 2011

Are you in a rut?  Does your family always tell you to show up two hours early to holiday dinners, because you are always 2 hours late? (Your only excuse was you forgot to clean the kitchen for the third time that day.)  Having a routine is a good thing.  It gives us structure, and discipline, and there is nothing wrong with either one of those.  The thing to remember about routine is it is to be mastered; it should not master you. 

I’ve watched people who are stuck to their routine, to the exclusion of everything else; or everyone else.  The problem is, when you live by a routine, that you are also leaving very little room for creativity.  Routines are predictable, and I suppose that makes them safe; but creativity is highly unpredictable, and sporadic.  This is very evident in the creative arts.  Sometimes inspiration hits in the middle of the night, and other times, in the middle of the day.

Creativity requires flexibility in your schedule.  Steven Covey touched on this in his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”   Basically, he talked about having a list of tasks you need to accomplish, and prioritizing the tasks; you do the most urgent first, then the second, and so on.  Don’t procrastinate, but don’t bind them to a specific time either.  Just remind yourself they have to be done, and the sooner the better.  In time, you will begin to see time opening up, to allow for more creative pursuits. 

I realize humans are creatures of habit, and we all have our little obsessions, but sometimes you have to retrain your mind to loosen up, and remind yourself that your time, and creativity are two things you can have total control over.  No one can take that from you; even though it seems they try.

Here’s something you can do.  If you are having trouble coming up with a solution to a problem, try to throw a monkey wrench in your routine. Take a look at those things you do the same each time, and reverse it. (if you are able to)  At times this solves the problem, and other times it doesn’t; but if it may work, isn’t it worth the attempt?

Creativity boosters!!!

February 28, 2011

When it comes to creativity, even the most creative person needs a little boost once in a while.  Many people have offered suggestions, and some of these involve the use of illegal narcotics and alcohol.  These substances may give you a sense of creative power; however it is a false feeling.  Drugs and alcohol don’t make people creative; they just lower your brain’s control.

If you want a true boost to your creativity, and not run a risk of physical danger to you, or your brain, I have two methods that have never failed to deliver. These methods are music, and exercise.

With music, I can have something to listen to without having something visual to take my attention away from what I should be doing, which is writing, in my case.  When you have something to watch the temptation is too great to just sit there and watch whatever is on.  When you stick to just music, you can focus your eyes on what you’re doing, and maybe give you a rhythm to help you accomplish what you want.

The physical benefits of exercise have been drilled into us since we were children, even though some people haven’t heard that message; but how does it fit into boosting creativity?  The human brain needs a constant flow of blood to keep it functioning.  With exercise, endorphins are released and blood pumps more freely; bringing more fuel to the brain, bringing with it a greater capacity for focus, thought, and of course, creativity.

In the case of writing, exercise has two benefits.  It boosts my creativity, and since writing is done sitting at your desk, with very little moving around, I get the advantage of keeping my weight under control.

I’m not saying that this is a 100 percent guaranty for everyone, or that it will begin the moment you start exercising.  I didn’t see any results for the first week of my exercise program, but with regular exercise (6 days a week since November) I noticed a massive improvement.

To put this in the simplest way possible, if you want the best, natural, boost to your creativity, turn on some music for focus, and rhythm; start a good exercise program, and practice your creative potential constantly.  If you do this the only thing you will over dose on is a healthy body, and mind.



Rainy day blues

June 15, 2009

Johnny saunters into the room, his shoulders sagging, and his eyes fixed on the floor, “Mom, I’m bored.”

His mother looks up from what she was working on, “Clean your room.”

“I did that already.”

Not thinking much about it, she pulled out the next thing that popped into her head.  “Go outside and play.”

Johnny looked at her, puzzled, “but it’s raining!”

Is this scene something you’re familiar with?  Do you struggle with finding something to keep your kids busy that will also teach them something of value?  Before they lose half their young life to the TV, or video games, teach them how to value time, while helping them to express their creativity.  A great way to do this is to start a rainy day project jar.

If you haven’t started one yet, now would be a good time.  Sit down with the kids, and give each one a jar. On ten 3×5 cards have them write down creative projects they can do while it’s raining outside.   The only rule is that the projects should be able to be done in one day.

The reason each kid gets a jar is that people express themselves differently.  This could be a great way to show them that their own method of expression is just as important as anyone else’s, and it makes it more interesting for them. Just because one kid enjoys painting, doesn’t mean the others will.

Once they have the projects in the jar, whenever they use the phrase, “I’m bored.” You can have them take a project out and start working on it.  If they’re doing projects they enjoy, eventually they will come up with projects without the jar, and they won’t have such a hard time expressing themselves creatively.

Challenge:  The project jar isn’t just for kids.  If you have the problem of getting bored on rainy days start a project jar for yourself.  You might just find yourself looking forward to rainy days.