The idea of play seems to keep coming up for me lately. Maybe the universe is trying to remind me to have fun and play.
It’s been a rough summer for me, for a variety of reasons, the biggest being my poor health. To their credit, every doctor and nurse I’ve run into would like to help me, but my insurance denied me the surgery I need. I could easily go on a rant about insurance, but whatever. It is what it is. Now that my hernia is worsening, with no surgery in sight, I’ve had to cancel this fall’s workshops with Shannon.
Needless to say, life has been kicking me in the balls, lately.
Anyways, back to the idea of play. The other day, a beginner iphone photographer asked a facebook group for advice on how to improve her skills. The group is full of talented mobile artists that gave good advice. My advice was to find as many free resources online to learn from, and to remember to allow yourself to play when you’re creating. It turned out to be a good reminder for myself.
Life usually gets in the way, and I forget to play while I create. A lot of times, I’m too focused on trying to create the best technical image that I can. Other times, I’m busy focusing on trying to create something that I think the facebook world might like. As long as the conversion rate of facebook likes to dollars is zero, thats the wrong approach.
Why is play so important?
From my days as a preschool teacher, I can tell you that its a very valid way of learning. For children, it allows for creativity and aids in developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.
I think I could argue that most, if not all, still applies when we play as adults, even if that play is poking around on our iphone, or clicking at a computer. The photo in today’s post was created because I allowed myself to play. I didn’t stick to my normal workflow. I explored my Topaz Impressions plugin and created a painterly image. Then, I took the image into photoshop to make a few more adjustments, and to play with some color settings. I think I sent Shannon 4 versions of this image to get her thoughts on colors and vignettes. I almost went with gold leaves, or purple leaves, for more of a fantasy look. I liked them, but decided not to get too wild too fast.
I’ve actually been wanting to create a series of painterly images, from my Nikon shots, for a while now. The thing thats been stopping me was worrying what my peers would think. I know they expect technically sound images from me. Photos that look like paintings might not be taken as serious by all the photographers I admire.
This was my second painterly image this week. It’s in the style of Monet. I like it, but it didn’t land quite as well as the first image.
I think it’s time to stop worrying about results, and just play again. Thats when I seem to create my most interesting work anyways.