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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Creative Paths....Creative Accidents

Just when I had been espousing previsualizing what you want an image to look like in Photoshop, I had a creative accident. As I previously posted, I have been playing with the idea of black and white flower photographs combined with various textures that have also been converted to black and white. After having made two such images, I was having trouble creating a third that resonated with me.

In trying to put together a third photo, I had already converted a flower photograph to black and white and was trying out different texture overlays. None seemed to 'work' well and so I was quickly trying out several more that I thought might go with the picture. I hadn't yet converted the texture I was working with to black and white and went to turn off the texture layer in Photoshop, as it didn't look like it would go well with the picture. Instead of clicking the icon to hide the texture layer I accidentally clicked on the icon to hide the black and white conversion layer targeting the flower.

Tulips I
Copyright Howard Grill

Whoa! The image immediately sprang to life in an unusual way (though the texture is a bit difficult to see in this small blog image). An accident, to be sure.....but that doesn't mean it should be ignored. Trying this effect with several different flower photos and various textures, I found it much easier to generate color combinations that worked....and they seemed to work better than the black and white ones.

So now I find myself revisiting my original concept. When I try to clarify in my mind why I want to make images like this, I think it is because most people don't stop and notice the beauty of flowers in images because we are inundated with them. By changing the standard form with which we are presented flower images I wanted to give viewers the impetus to stop and pay attention. I now find myself questioning whether that goal is better achieved with the toned black and white images or with the color images that I discovered by a happy accident.

Deciding which creative path to take at a fork in the road really makes you examine what it is that you are trying to accomplish. And trying to figure that out seems like a wise thing to do.