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.

Warming Up

I often find, when starting to take photographs in a specific area, that there is one idea for an image that fairly quickly comes to mind. I may well know that there are likely better approaches to creating the image, but I don't fight that initial urge, even though I know that it is not likely to yield the best shot that I can get at a specific location. Instead, I give in to the urge and take the shot. After all, it is not as if I am using 8 x 10 inch sheet film. I consider fulfilling that initial urge akin to 'warming up'.

Once I take that initial shot, which inevitably is a fairly standard view, the fun begins. I try to force myself to see the area differently. Often, the best way for me to do this is to force myself to look at things from a different perspective even though I might not have pre-visualized the photo from that viewpoint. Nonetheless, it helps to move around and actually get down...or climb up....and look through the viewfinder to see how changing perspective, position and orientation makes the scene look.

I was taking some photographs of a waterfall for the Twin Jewels Project and, after taking a few of what I would call 'standard' shots, decided to try some different angles to see what I could come up with. My favorite image of the falls was this one, from almost directly underneath it. I took several photos, each with different shutter speeds, but ended up liking this one, as it is different from the type of waterfall images I typically make. For this photograph, I chose to use an intermediate shutter speed in order to partially freeze the moving water instead of the long shutter opening I would typically use to get silky water. This final image is significantly different, both in appearance and perspective, from my original 'warming up' shot.

'Over The Top'
Copyright Howard Grill