The very first play in The Photographer’s Playbook asks the reader to figure out what game they’re playing. So, I say to myself, “I’m creating because I have a creative drive.” But this needs to go deeper. What are my goals, how do I intend to achieve them, and what is the best way to go about this? All things I have very vague answers to in my head.
And then I remembered a quote from Netflix’s The Incredible Jessica James, spoken by real world playwright Sarah Jones.
“And you’re doing it. That’s why we’re here right? This is it! There’s kinda not more to it than that.”
Summers are for vacations and vacations are for reading. Who doesn’t have a stack of books waiting for the time to read them? Because I love reading, I thought I would share the books that I’ve read that have shaped my photography. If you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, several of these books will already be familiar to you. Even though I’ve talked about them before, I thought it would be nice to put them all in one place.
In fact, many of my past blog posts have been inspired by these books. I often cruise bookstores looking for interesting titles. Beside bookstores I also ask my fellow photographers to recommend their favorite books. By doing this, I make sure I break out of my comfort zone. These books inspire me creatively, encourage me to think about photography as well as reinforce basic concepts of both art and photography. Continue reading Summer reading to inspire your photography
It’s my turn to pick a new challenge from The Photographers Playbook. This challenge is called “truth and dare” and is written by Gregory Halpern. The challenge is to
“Make a short series of purely object photographs.”
And what we shall ask our self is if photographs can tell the truth? Or as Halden put’s it:
“We know photographs can “lie”. Is it possible for them to tell the truth?”
I’m really looking forward to see what comes out of this challenge. I’m already wondering: how does a purely objective photograph look like? And can I do one? I don’t know but I’m looking forward to try.
I’m super excited for this new challenge which is aptly named: Sum of the Parts. And its pretty much exactly what it implies:
“Make two photographs that you feel convey a particular subject when they are viewed together, but that do not convey the same subject when they are viewed separately. This is a way of including the viewer in the creation of meaning in your work. The subject could be an experience, idea, piece of writing, or word.” Carlo Van de Roer, The Photographer’s Playbook
When Kristina was visiting in Seattle for the opening of the latest StuckinPlastic exhibition an idea for a different type of photo challenge was born. We had plenty of time to chat and we realized that we both like to challenge ourselves in the most esoteric ways. It also seems that we both have The Photographer’s Playbook by the Aperture Foundation. Soon an idea was born. We came up with a different type of photo challenge for ourselves, our fellow blog mates (if they choose to participate) and for you.
These challenges are based on The Photographer’s Playbook which is a series of photo assignments and ideas aimed at getting the reader to think about photography in new ways. They are also designed to kick all of us out of those safe, comfortable habits we so often fall back into.
After finishing my best of 2015 photo book I realized I really want to pair my photographs with words. Right now I pair them with inspirational quotes and this has been satisfying up to a point. Now I want to push myself to go beyond other peoples words and incorporate my own text with my photographs. I am a big admirer of Darryl Jones and Matt Rhodes and how they incorporate stories, poems and anecdotes about their characters. Their words add a richness to their photographs and enhance my enjoyment of their work.
So in honor of that goal Kristina and I have decided that our first challenge would be: Words and Photographs.
“For this assignment, print one of your photographs on one half of a sheet of paper. On the other half, write something about the picture. The key is to write something that doesn’t destroy the magic of the photograph. Write in a straightforward way. Do not use adjectives or fancy words. Do not explain the picture; enhance it.
Once you are done, fold the piece of paper in half. Is the picture better without the writing? If so, repeat the assignment with different photographs until you’ve made a combination that is more than the sum of its parts. ” – Alex Sloth, The Photographer’s Playbook
This assignment excites me because this is exactly what I want to be creating with my photography: words with photos where the sum is greater than the parts.
Kristina and I have given each other two weeks to complete one successful combination and to report back here about the process. This is a challenge open to all who want to participate. If it goes well and we are successfully pushed outside of our safety zone, or inspire you, then we will try this again. In the mean time, I am going to put my thinking cap on and see if I can find an older image that could benefit from a few words.
I realize that now is a very busy time for most of us, so this may not be the best time to launch a new challenge. Perhaps you would like to sit this one out and see how we do? Maybe you are game from the get go? I would love to hear your reaction to this latest challenge.