Friday, November 9, 2012

Staying Open On The Road

The harder I work lately, the harder I have to work to maintain my creativity. One thing I find essential in creativity is remaining open to new possibilities, and believing that there's a great shot to be had everywhere, you just need to learn to see it... hence the name of this blog. Here's a handy example from my recent shoot in Adelaide, South Australia.

There I was, slightly sleep deprived, on a long bus ride, getting candid shots of a conference group (more from that shoot in future...). Nothing too taxing, just stills and video coverage of the event. After covering the winery visit, I was ready to snooze all the way back to town, but I was feeling I hadn't really stretched myself creatively lately, so looked for an opportunity to get some exercise. Waiting for the rest of the party to board the bus, I wandered across the car park to a patch of weeds, set my shutter to expose around a second or so, and played with shutter drag, panning and tilting to create some abstracts. Not that I was expecting any keepers, I just wanted to open myself up to possibilities again. Maybe I'd find a creative lead to chase later.

Abstract weeds, Adelaide Abstract weeds, Adelaide Abstract weeds, Adelaide>

Looking at these, there are some things I like and will maybe play with later - trying to refine the mix of camera movement and stillness to get an interesting mix of patterns and colour. But the real value of this exercise was just to remind me that opportunities are everywhere, even at the side of the road. You don't have to boss the camera hard to find them, you have to boss yourself.

So when our driver stopped the bus later to tell the party that there was a good chance we'd see Koalas in the trees, I decided not to snooze, got out with everybody else, and to my surprise, there was a mother and baby, in perfect pose for a cute shot.


My Aussie mates laughed at me for posting this, especially the ones from wildlife and film backgrounds who know this is about as interesting as Koalas get. They sleep 22 hours a day, have wicked claws so aren't as cuddly as they seem, and have a habit of crapping or peeing on you from above.  Sometimes though, cute is enough, and now I've got a great Aussie icon picture in my collection. A cliche for sure, but one that endures. And I wouldn't have got it if I'd stayed and snoozed on the bus.  Stay open!

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