Exercise in creativity

A few weeks ago I purchased Eric Kim’s “eternal return to creative every day”. It’s a fun little booklet with creative ideas and exercises, and I finally printed it and started with the first task yesterday.

Photograph everything that interests you during one day. Go through the images, see what you like.

I did. These are the ones I chose (from a trip to Copenhagen):

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I am pleased with the result, Every one of the photos tells a story – at least to me. From the moment we left (Midori says “Huh! You leaving?”) to waiting in traffic five minutes from home at a roadblock.

Christina and Fant the Fant-astic!

I’ ve known Christina on the web since she took one of my online classes, and I’ve admired her work. She and her beautiful cocker Fant lives in Paris at the moment (enjoy her insta! ), and as they were passing by Sweden she asked for a private session. Some new ideas on street photography, and how to pose Fant in order to not make him look posed, was on the wish list.

We met in Västra Hamnen in Malmö (a beautiful part of the city, do not miss when passing by!). I know the area fairly well, and as Christina wanted to work with the composition of lines and shapes with her 16mm wide-angle, I added the idea “dog goes on an adventure in town” to give a bit of backstory.

And then we got to work. For me, one of the keys is to really “work through” an area. Different angles, compositions distances, poses…Little by little that makes me realise what I want from this scene, and I often end up with something completely different than my original idea. So that’s what I had Christina doing.

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Fant is a very well trained model, and seemed to really enjoy himself! Lots of treats were involved 🙂

We deliberately chose poses that did NOT involve looking into the camera. The idea was to capture Fant’s view of the town – how would a dog explore? If he was a bit adventurous, and more about seeing than sniffing (I know, it’s not super realistic, but the images get better…)?

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This part of town has lots of big windows, and that means lots of reflections. So much fun to play with!

Of course, a dog visiting Malmö would want to look at the sea and the bridge to Copenhagen. We got him to look in the right direction with a little help from some strategically arranged treats.

I really liked the idea of him lying almost like a statue, overlooking the city with the Turning Torso behind him. Him – not so much…But hey, anything for Mom!

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And my last one of a very warm and tired Fant. He did not actually seek that shadow by himself, we put him there. It still tells the story 🙂

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My shots are a bit haphazard, I wasn’t there to shoot but to teach and give feedback and suggestions. I know Christina got some really good ones, and can’t wait to see them!

So. Lesson learned:

  • What’s the story?
  • Try, try, try!
  • Change something in every shot
  • Leading lines
  • Diagonals
  • Rule of thirds
  • Play with reflections
  • Avoid poses that look posed
  • Work with the light, make the subject stand out
  • Don’t be afraid to go close
  • Don’t be afraid to back up
  • Keep the dog happy!

And to finish: keep your eyes open. What happens around you?

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Wednesday – the city awakens

Vacation means time do do…nothing. Days that are unplanned, do whatever. Wednesday was exactly that kind of day for us!

At seven we went out into the city. I love early morning in a city! Before everyone is awake, see the workers and the joggers (here are a LOT of joggers!), meet the dogs on their morning walks. It’s peaceful.

Corralejo is a town that feels…alive. I mean, every city is alive as long as there is people, but some cities are more…awake. Moving. There’s a pulse.

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A mix of peolpe, all trying to make a living. Small bakeries, street musicians, sand artists, café-owners, shopkeepers, and – as this is Corralejo – surfers.

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The houses here are small and worn, the streets narrow. Life is everywhere. If you don’t have space – create it!

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We followed the beach, and watched the sunrise.

The sun paints everything pink and golden. Quick tip when you photograph sunrises or sunsets – don’t forget to look behind you! The light is fantastic…

And as we continued back, we watched the city wake up and greet the new day.

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Some people are building houses…

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…and some are building castles of sand.

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The surfers seem to have some kind of “hotline”, to tell eachother where the surf is perfect that day.

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And I got some fur therapy! This beauty came to say hi.

The rest of the day was spent on shopping, drinking coffee, snorkling (Ola), reading on the beach (me), enjoying the sun, hiding from the rain (quick but intense), and just…being a part of this city.

A perfect day.

 

Back in Fuerteventura!

I’m back on my favourite island – Fuerteventura!

This time I’m not only accompanied by my husband but also by my Fujifilm x-t2. Last year I had my big Sony, and my shoulders and back hurt and I sometimes left the camera in the car. Fujifilm and a 35 mm lens has walked with me all day yesterday and all day today – and I hardly know it’s there! Except for when I need it of course 🙂 I keep it in a wrist-strap, so easy to change hands if necessary and no big strap that gets in the way or constrict my movements.

Enough about my equipment…

We arrived yesterday. We left at sunrise, and I got some shots through the window of the plane (sorry about the poor quality, the window wasn’t exactly clean…)

The light at sunrise is kind of fantastic!

Almost nine hours later we checked in at Surfing Colors – we came back this year as we really like the relaxed atmosphere here. A stroll around town, see what’s changed since we were here last year, a pizza at one place, a coffee at another. Relaxation starting to spread.

Before dinner we took a short walk in one of my favourite parts of the island, the “badlands” between Corralejo and El Cotillo. We didn’t go far, but the rough feeling of the wind, the sea and the lavastones always make me feel att peace with myself.

The sun was setting, so we got some really nice light!

When I turned the other way I could see the town:

And as it got darker I turned to the mountains and the hills of lava-stone.

See why I love it here? This is raw nature, untamed, not bending to anyone or anything.

I’m so happy to be back!

 

Use what you have around you

Autumn is well on its way, and that is yummy for a photographer…Autumn colors are amazing!

 

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Yellow, red, green, and a warm autumn sun. And a kelpie! 

It’s easy to think that you need to live near a forest or have a beautiful garden if you want to take photos like this one. Actually, you don’t. You just need to see what’s around you, and use that to your advantage!

The leaves behind Midori grow at the side of the road near my place, and it looks like this:

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Five meters further and there´s the freeway (with a fence!).

With a 50 mm lens and a well-behaved dog, this is what I can do with two orange bushes.

 

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It’s all about choosing the right angle and crop.

From another angle the bushes look like this:

 

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The road to my house to the left, freeway to the right. One small bush with red berries.

Midori and I got this shot:

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In all of these photos, she is seated almost inside the bushes and peeking out. You can actually see the road in this one, the gray behind the leaves and berries at the top.

To make these photos work I used a 50mm lens with f/1,4. I chose an overcast day to get nice and even light. in post processing, I have enhanced the yellow and red a bit, added a vignette to draw the attention to my beautiful dog, and that’s all.

Take a walk in your surroundings. I bet, if you look closely, you will find places you never thought about as backdrops to a photo before!

 

 

 

Friday: rain and Puerto del Rosario

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The night to friday was rainy, and the morning was chilly and wet. What to do? Go and see the capital of Fuerteventura! Puerto del Rosario!

We took a small detour on the way, and – as usual – enjoyed the scenery. After the rain the ground is a darker shade of orange, and the fog was covering the mountains.

We got lost. Not really LOST-lost, I mean how big is the island, and there is always GPS, but we sure did not take the road we intended to. Luckily! Because we turned a corner…and there!

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Not really impressive through a wet windshield…

A small town. Perfect location. So beautiful, and we said to eachother “This is where we want to live”. Vallebròn, some day…

We decided to ask the GPS, and soon got turned around.

So. Puerto del Rosario. We were curious to see a “big” town, and the famous shopping centre. After some looking for a parkingspace we got rid of the car, and the rain was pouring down. To the mall!

It was dry, clean, bright, and looked like…every other mall. The usual shops, cafés, and young people with nowhere else to go. The same bored staff. The fashion a little bit different compared to sweden, of course, but basically the same. Good coffee though.

When the rain had stopped we went out into the town. Town square, town house, harbour, small streets…A nice town, but not really special.

The beach was closed off, and it looked like it was being restored in some way. We got the impression that down by the water a whole lot of improvements were being made, to make it nicer and maybe more appealing to tourists?

My favourite part of the town was the many expressions of art, on the walls, and everywhere around.

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Colourful, fun, really well made, and often with a connection to the sea. Beautiful!

We had lunch at Burger King, and left for more interesting adventures.

Coming up: we head for the badlands

As you see, I take a lot of photos. I like them. They make me daydream, and I like daydreaming. If you like them too, don’t miss the grand opening of my webshop tonight at 18.00 swedish time! Take a look – you may like what you see 🙂

GO TO SHOP

 

 

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