Creative Challenge Update


Last week, I issued a creative challenge: to try something new, to stretch your creative legs a bit.

My personal challenge was to use a different camera lens than my go-to 70-200mm. Using different lenses offers different vantage points.

The lens I grabbed was my Canon 24-105mm. I had purchased the lens for our trip to Jordan back in 2010. I needed a good lens that would give me a little zoom along with a wide angle. It worked pretty well for me. But, since purchasing the lens, I haven’t used it too terribly much. It just doesn’t give me what I hope for.

Or, to be honest, I have not worked very hard to learn its strengths and weaknesses.

(May I take a moment to say something that’s been heavy on my heart? Just because someone has a bunch of expensive camera gear it does not mean they actually know how to use it. Cameras have continued to improve over the years and everyone has a pretty decent camera in their possession–even the phone cameras are improving with each new release–that does NOT necessarily equate to a good photographer. A good photographer knows how to creatively and properly compose a photograph. A good photographer knows how to expose for the light properly. A good photographer can take his/her camera off auto–if they want–and still take beautiful, creative photographs. A good photographer knows how to pose one or more people. So, if you hear someone say, like I did the other day, “Wow, that is a great camera and lens! I bet it takes super pictures!” please remind them the equipment needs someone to actually know how to use it creatively to capture super pictures.)


I guess what I’m trying to say I needed to practice with a new lens to learn how to best use it. In some pictures I succeeded (notice the road pic–I didn’t put the horizon in the middle of the picture; it leads the eye and adds interest), some I didn’t (like the sunflower, above and below–I didn’t expose too well for the backlit subject–I needed a reflector or something to pop some light to the center of the flower, or I needed to move and squat differently, but my knees were already beginning to stage a coup).


It was 3pm and blazing hot, about 90+ degrees the afternoon I took the above photos. Too hot and harsh to be out practicing, but it was good for me. It forced me to deal with some not-so-great light. I had to change my ISO, speed up or slow down my shutter, and close down or open up my aperture, depending on what I was shooting. All good for me, especially since I was using a somewhat unfamiliar lens.

All in all, it was a very beneficial lesson for me–fun and creative, to boot!

How did you do over the weekend? Did you work on something creative? Please let me know what you worked on and if you learned anything through the process.



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