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I was recently inspired by a friend’s creativity.  He made me want to think outside the box with my own photography.  (Like in the above picture of water dripping off my roof during a recent rain storm.)


But, sometimes, when you’ve got laundry, kids, bills to pay, and just plain everyday stuff to deal with, getting the creative juices to flow can be tough.


Because I’m not real familiar with thinking in the abstract, it wasn’t the easiest task, and, yet, it was fun. 


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Looking at things in a different way is a good thing.  And, I’m not completely sure I accomplished what I was hoping for–I’m not convinced I actually created abstract– but I sure had a good time trying.  It forced me to crouch down, lean over, re-see. 


For example, the grid-thing (I have no earthly idea what this is or was!), below, was interesting all on its own.  It had a cool pattern, but was broken up a bit (which adds interest), as you can see to the left.   Then, with a little nudge up on the contrast, this is what I got.


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That, by itself, is sort of interesting…okay, maybe not.  But, rather than just being satisfied with a straight-on shot, I moved around it and got this shot, which I like even better:



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For some reason, in my mind, bumping up on the contrast makes things look a little more edgy.  Maybe I think that because it’s the trend in photography, especially in portraiture.   But, I do think it adds an element of interest.


Like the cotton below…while it’s not terribly abstract, the single boll (way past its growing season), has an odd, yet kinda cool feel to it, especially with the added contrast. (And, please notice the nice bokeh–the blurring of the background–it helps to isolate the spindly boll.)


In my humble opinion.



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This next photograph is of some part of the ferry crossing down in Galveston.  This is SOOC (straight out of the camera):



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It’s kind of abstract all on its own, mainly because it doesn’t really tell a story, it’s unique.  I mean, what in the world is it?  


Now,  look at it with an added bit of tweaking in Photoshop:



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I like it better with the strong contrast between the white and dark.   Hmmm….Vellly intelessting….



The following dead tree captures my attention every time I walk by it when I’m out at the ranch.  I like how bare and wire-y it looks–it just stands there all alone.  I’m not sure I’ve landed on the picture I want of it, yet, but I keep trying.  Next time, I’ll go around on the other side and see what I get.  (It’s not real abstract, though.  Just dead.)




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Below is a closeup of a rusted wall on the backside of a barn.  I love, love, love it.  Each time I’m out there, I take a picture of it and I imagine posing a student in front of it for Senior Portraits….   




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Is it abstract?  I don’t know.  But, the very fact that I’m looking at it differently is what is important.  Same goes for the fence below.



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How about barbed wire?  (Or, as everyone I knew growing up called it, Bob-why-are.  I didn’t know until I was 39 years old that it was barbed and not bob….)




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Not so abstract either, but I like it.  In fact, I like this one so much, I plan to print this one and frame it!



Last one:



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Okay, so maybe this post shouldn’t be entitled “Abstract,” because you can pretty much tell what everything is, for the most part.  But, in my world, it is abstract, or at the very least, conceptual.  I forced myself to look at things differently and not take all objects at face value. 



So, with that, I am challenging you, today, to try something new! 



If you are a photographer, try taking pictures from an unusual angle, really close-up, or maybe with a higher contrast without blowing the shot out too much. 


If you’re not a photographer, just try something new: a new food that maybe you’d never tried before, like sushi (yum!), or sweet potatoes (I hated these until I was about 35 and I tried them again and decided I loved ’em!), or Thai (red curry, oh my!)… read a book in a new genre… walk out your front door and cross the street to meet a new (or old) neighbor that you’ve put off (maybe even for, lo, these many years)…  re-consider a new approach to a project you are working on at your job…  take up a new hobby that requires you to create…  use your imagination… 


…the sky’s the limit!



Be brave!  Just trying something new gets the blood and creative juices flowing! 



By the way, failure is not an option, because, in my book, if you tried, you succeeded.




P.S. I’d love to hear your stories–how did you think outside the box?   Check back in and leave me a comment.



    • Elizabeth Simmons

      Thank you, so much, Jan! Please do drop by again! I’m having a ball with this blog and I love the idea of sharing it with others. (And, I love, love P.W.!)

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