Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

The Best Photography May Come From an Obsession with The Medium Itself

Here’s a quote by photographer Richard Benson on Lee Friedlander’s approach to photography (from his afterword in In the Picture: Self-Portraits, 1958-2011):

Lee has often worked without a specific project in mind, simply making pictures of what he saw, in order, as Garry Winogrand said, to see what it looked like photographed. This way of working led him to look at his contact sheets (of which there have been an astonishing number) to find out what was there that he might not have expected. His shadow, and more clearly defined versions of himself, turned up with regularity. At some point early on Lee realized that he was making self-portraits along with many other photographs that were defining a new landscape for all of us who saw his work. There is a great lesson in this for photographers of today who dedicate themselves to one project or another, failing to understand that the best work might come from an obsession with the medium rather than the personally oriented choice of what might be done with it. Lee always has a camera with him and is constantly making pictures. How much better the work of today might be if all the young and dedicated photographers took up this habit.

If you’re in a creative rut and can’t think of a “project” idea, don’t worry — just be obsessed with photography itself and constantly be ready to photograph what interests you.

(via valerian via tokyo camera style)


Image credit: Self Portrait Series – Untitled 4, Barcelona (2012) by Mooglio

Everything is a Remix Explores the Derivative Nature of Creativity

Everything is a Remix is a fascinating four-part video series by filmmaker Kirby Ferguson that explores the concept of creativity, and how everything created has some degree of copying, transforming, or combining of old ideas. While the series isn’t specifically directed towards photographers, the ideas are quite relevant to the discussion of “original” work.
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Trippy Photos Shot From Inside a Box Made of Mirrors

These photos might look like they were computer generated, but they’re actually unmodified photographs. Ron Brinkmann took 6 mirror tiles and made a box with them with the help of some duct tape. He then placed a camera inside and triggered shots using the timer.
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Amazing Stop Motion Video Made with a Desk Toy and Google Street View

Address Is Approximate is a beautiful and creative stop-motion video by Tom Jenkins of Theory Films. Here’s the one-sentence synopsis:

A lonely desk toy longs for escape from the dark confines of the office, so he takes a cross country road trip to the Pacific Coast in the only way he can – using a toy car and Google Maps Street View.

No CGI was used — all the animation you see in the video was done by hand and captured on a still photograph using a Canon 5D Mark II!

Amazing Stop-Motion Music Video Made Using 920 Colored Pencils

Here’s another cool example of what’s possible when you combine creativity with an insane amount of dedication: animator Jonathan Chong spent hundreds of hours creating this stop motion video for the song “Against The Grain” by the Australian band Hudson. He animated everything by hand, and captured 5125 individual photographs of 920 pencils for the three-minute long finished product.
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Stop-Motion Music Video Shot Over Two Years with 288,000 Jelly Beans

Want to see what pure dedication looks like? This music video for the song “In Your Arms” by Kina Grannis is a stop-motion animation done with a background composed of jelly beans. It’s a crazy project that required 22 months, 1,357 hours, 30 people, and 288,000 jelly beans. They could have used CGI, of course, but each frame was carefully created by hand and photographed with a still camera. It’s even more mind-blowing given this fact: none of it was done with a green screen.
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Creative Stop-Motion Video Announcing a New Baby

Here’s a super-awesome way of using stop-motion photography to announce the birth of a new baby.

(via Fstoppers)

Pinhole Photos That Show a Day in the Life of a Mouth

Mouthpiece is a series of photographs by photographer Justin Quinell in which he documents some of his life’s experiences as seen by his mouth. The photographs were captured using a custom pinhole camera created from a 110 film cartridge. It’s a unique perspective of the world that we don’t often see in photographs.
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Amazing 5 Minute Commercial Shows a School Day in 1 Take

Update: Looks like the video was taken down due to a copyright claim. You can watch it here.


This is more related to filmmaking than photography, but it’s so creative that I just had to share: Gatorade recently released this 5 minute commercial featuring professional skateboarder Chaz Ortiz. What’s mind-blowing is that it captures the passing of a school day in one take. Any mistakes (e.g. Ortiz failing to land a trick) would have ruined the entire shot. You can find a behind-the-scenes video showing how it was made here.

(via Fstoppers)

Hard Work, Restriction, and Creativity Go Hand in Hand

Here’s an interesting video in which Jack White — singer and guitarist of The White Stripes — shares some thoughts on work ethic and restriction, and how they relate to creativity:

Deadlines and things make you creative, but opportunity and telling yourself “you’ve got all the time in the world, all the money in the world, you’ve all the colors in the pallete you want, anything you want” — that just kills creativity.

For photographers, this means you should keep on shooting even if you feel dry and devoid of fresh ideas — “maybe something good will come out of it.”

(via Chase Jarvis)