Photography as Self Expression

Photography as Self-Expression

One really great way to express your creativity is with photography. It can open your eyes to a whole new way of seeing the world. You don’t need the fine motor control required for drawing or painting, though cultivating an eye toward composition would be good. And you probably already take lots of pics of children and grandchildren, or your beloved pets. You already have a jumpstart on a fulfilling way to capture visual insights.

Don’t know how to get started? To take it from representing things literally to creating your own vision? Visit the Books link in the menu bar for a range of books to get you going. But you can also start by just starting. And you really don’t need fancy equipment. If you have a smartphone, it probably takes pretty good pictures. iPhones and Androids have lots of useful built in features, but you can do much more with them than you may realize by installing an app or two. The photo below is with an app, camera+, that let’s you treat your phone as though it had a macro lens. If you want some inspiration about what more you can do with them, really nice guide is available through this link to the iPhone Photography School.

macro_flower2

So get started. Go out. Or stay in and look around your house. But wherever you are, look at the things you take for granted in a new way. Look at the trees, the buildings, the cars, the sofas, chairs and refrigerators — everything — from new angles, at different times of day, from close up to see textures you normally don’t notice, etc. etc. etc. Click, click, click.  The more you take, the more new insights you discover about a world that was already there but you overlooked.

It also might help to have a supportive community of others to stimulate you. A great one is the Google+ Weekly Photo Project community. You can try out a different photographic challenge each week, with no pressure and lots of encouragement. The photo at the top of this post is from my iPhone that I posted to that site. My friend was near a mural and I snapped quickly to catch her looking like she was actually in the street scene. The result was a fun new way to look at things.

When you’re ready to move on to richer images, then you can think about one of the dozens of wonderful digital cameras from the most basic point and shoot variety to elaborate digital single lens reflex (DSLR) marvels.

But most of all, have fun. This is for you, not for anyone else.

Copyright  ©   Thomas Ward 2017

Published by

Thomas Ward

Professor of Psychology, University of Alabama. Research focus on creativity.

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