Once upon a time, Angela had a regular gathering of artists and friends called Art of Friendship. Tonight (20 April 2012) marks the return of that nexus of creativity. There will be art projects, socializing, and snacks! If you're going to be in the Springfield, Missouri area, contact us on the Contact page and find out how to get to the event. Art of Friendship starts at 7 pm and is FREE! But donations toward supplies are appreciated.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I've been playing around with HDR shots. When I plan on doing this, I carry my tripod, because it's hard to align the multiple exposures required by HDR when you've handheld the shot. However, sometimes a scene comes up and you just have to make a try for it. In this one, I steadied the camera as best I could, then took the shots, trying to keep everything lined up as best I could as I manually adjusted the exposure and then removed the ghosts with the HDR program (Photomatix Essentials) that I use. I like the result, but I'd also like to try it again with a tripod. But at the time, you can't be sure about having another shot, so do what you can with what you have. Lesson 2: Always carry a tripod.
[Update: This link no longer works, so I'm putting in a link to the thirty minutes that John Cleese spent talking about creativity at Video Arts. It's well worth watching the whole thing. Enjoy! http://bavatuesdays.com/john-cleese-on-creativity/ ]
I thought I'd pass this link along. It's John Cleese on how to encourage your creativity. Thanks to Felicia Day for the head's up. http://exp.lore.com/post/21033099638/1-space-you-cant-become-playful-and-therefore
Recently, I've begun experimenting with HDR photography. In HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, you take several different exposures of a subject (a tripod is essential for this part) and then you merge them together in post production using a program like Photomatix (which has a good inexpensive version and thus is the one that I like). The program merges the images (up to five different exposures in the case of Photomatix), creating a layering of light and shadow and color that can't be obtained through normal photographic techniques. There's additional playing around you can do at that point, too -- different effects that can be experimented with; different settings that can be tweaked.
However, sometimes the program glitches. This happened to me yesterday. I got a picture I'd taken in Missouri wine country just about right, so that it looked like Image 1, above. Pretty good. Very dramatic. So I saved it. But what I saved came out looking like Image 2, below. A much different effect, but, in fact, one that I like considerably better. It has a haunted, Van Gogh-like feel to it that is very evocative of October days and Halloween moods.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to replicate that skewing in the future so that I can do it on purpose. Or, maybe, this is just a one-of-a-kind success by way of a mistake. In this way, it almost becomes 'found' art: art that wasn't meant to be 'artistic' but rather utilitarian, like warning signs in subway stations that become poetry when the lines are re-arranged to appear more 'poetic', or the chance juxtaposition of a billboard and something going on below it that is either ironic or apt (Image 3, bottom).
In either case, don't be too upset when your photography program messes up your work, or when you spill a jar of paint on a nearly-completed canvas, or when the characters in a story you're writing seem to refuse to do what you want them to do. Go with it. See what happens. It might turn out to be art.
Angela and I are currently in Kansas City at the Best Western Plus -- walking distance to Westport! -- and getting ready to do some photo shoots from our first venue. Although it may be a bit late to get in on our Kansas City retreat (unless you're already here!), check out our other retreat venues over on the Calendar and Registration page. Meanwhile: make every day a creative one!
Creation is a very visceral and rewarding experience, but so often we don't find time to let our inner artist out to explore. We get caught up in the mundane chores of life and forget that life is meant to be wondrous and filled with beauty. When we started Creative Wanderer, Angela and I decided that we wanted to help people remember ... or perhaps see it for the first time.