For all uploads gallery order is set to file name so please put your name first in the file name so your files are grouped together. When you have finished uploading click "Done" to see gallery.


Creative Exercises 2022

August/September/October 2022

Themes: Nothing but a Feeling (continued) and/or Nothing but a Memory


Upload links for upcoming months:

November 22

September and October 22

August 22


July 2022


THEME: Nothing but a Feeling


Upload link for JULY

https://canberraphotoconnect.smugmug.com/upload/wQLRXR/HollyJUL22


In our discussions around the ideas expressed when photographing "Nothing" and "Nobody" we were interested in how you express the feeling of nothingness. Taking this further, we are interested in how you could photograph "Feelings" in general. We are also considering how we examine photographs and how we as photographers approach communication through images. Is there a difference between the "interpretation" and "analysis" of any particular image?


Below are some thoughts penned by Chris in response to our images of "Nothing" shared in May and June. Here is the link to the gallery so you can see the images that have stimulated Chris's peregrinations. 

https://www.canberraphotoconnect.org/GALLERIES/Projects/Creative-Workshop/CreativeVision2022/CreativeVisionMay22/n-jkCHz3


Space - some thoughts by Chris Holly.

The final frontier of nothing.

Or is it?

How does the notion of nothing relate to space, and in particular in a viewfinder or the image? Does space have some kind of need for relative scale or distance between objects, such as a horizon, a foreground or background defined object that is a figure relative to a ground? When does it become readily apparent as nothing? Is it nothing in particular due to some sense of uniformity like a supposedly-featureless sky or nondescript foreground in a landscape, or a surface that has undefined features and little in terms of size that indicates what we might be looking at?

How and why does something of seeing emptiness and space in an image invoke or inspire awe? Is it because the observer becomes the relative object of reference, or is it some visual cue in the image or viewfinder that prompts us to consider supposed emptiness, space and scale and find meaning through memory and lived experience as the measure of nothing?

What happens when we introduce visual elements in an image that are sharp, and have visual acuity and contrast, compared to something that is diffuse and has soft edges that blend or combine? Does this alter the perception of scale and contribute to the nothingness we may ascribe to an image? Does the featureless or detailed elements influence how we perceive nothingness? Is nothingness a sign of some meaning that we have adopted? In semiotics, we may have signs and signals that, in general, may have a standardised or commonly accepted indication or interpretation of nothingness. What is that signal? Is it based on optical and visual effects or convention within image making that is so well accepted and agreed upon that we simply say “that is an image of nothing”? Or, does the notion of nothing simply not exist? Nothing must be something in and of itself visually speaking. The image itself is something and so cannot be nothing, like Magritte showing a picture of pipe with a caption of “this is not a pipe” it is true yet it is an agreed convention that while an image is a physical object, it is also an image but it is also not an image.

Likewise is nothing just a silly notion to even consider in image making? Regardless of semantics and semiotics, there is a useful and playful opportunity to ponder visually what the concept of nobody and nothing are when a group explores that concept through image making.

Some interesting observations on collective efforts and discussion raised comments around nothing being partly dependent on a scale or reference to “something”. The emptiness or nothingness of a scene shifted to observing light as a compositional element rather just a source of illumination, particularly in situations where unobstructed horizons (like the sea and deserts) offered a meeting of sky and sea or land, of reflections and connections around what may be considered featureless elements such as a cloudless sky, or seemingly flat water bodies. What appeared to transcend the visual featureless elements in these vast spaces or even smaller sections of a surface was a bridge from the visual to the emotional. Yes, feeling arose. There appears to be a distinct linkage between the featureless or vast or open space or emptiness of nothing that invokes awe and perhaps that is another else of nothingness or perhaps even insignificance of the observer (or artist) in a situation such as the vastness viewed.

It is fascinating to ask, is nothingness the gateway to introspection and reflection? The emptiness of nothingness of a scene may well awaken a nothingness within that is perhaps as a vast an inner world as that seen or presented to an observer of images. Some recalled no particular feeling when recounting (from memory) the experiences coincident with making a given image. Others noted, on reflection, that there was a sense of happiness and satisfaction on playing with the notion of nobody and nothing in making images. Try it for yourself. You may produce nothing and the whole exercise may amount to nothing. As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The additional opportunity for self observation and keys to how one sees their vision may lie in making some note or record of one’s feeling when making such an image. Or for that matter any image. What a great step to move from nobody and nothing to feeling. And so we collectively and individually embark on nothing but a feeling…


A little more about "nothing" from a "nobody" - more thoughts by Chris Holly.


Nobody: noun - no person, no one. An individual deemed of no importance, influence or consequence. Is nobody home? What or who is the nobody? Where does nobody appear? Is it in the frame that is composed and as such is there no physical embodiment of a person or persons? Is a frame empty of people nobody? What of the activity, folly, endeavour or enterprise of people? Is there nowhere that nobody has been within the places we regularly visit? More interestingly, is there nothing that can be devoid of nobody these days?

In a visual sense, the image may not ever be logically free of the image maker and so an image of or by nobody may never be solved by debate or logic. So what? Is that really of value other than to start an exploration of a different viewpoint and to prompt us to think deeper on what an image of nobody means? How does an image operate from nobody to nobody; like a radio signal through the ether, how does an image travel from maker to viewer and what does the object mean when the process can never be truly free of nobody.

It seems that when it comes to making these strange things we call images, nobody can make one without being some kind of active or passive participant. What are the subjects and objects that nobody is interested in and would we make those very things the challenge we pursue.

Who is anybody to judge nobody? Who is the somebody that claims to transcend being a nobody to judge, assess or determine what so many nobodies do in their image making? Why have judges or critique? Who says they’re somebody to determine what we nobodies do and whether it has any value or merit? Why, when they devalue or diminish our work (that we hesitantly or even apologetically put forth to be scrutinised) do we actually feel like a nobody and of less value and worth? Nobody really savours that kind of judgement (or do we?), especially when that somebody is outed as being a nobody parading as a somebody with an inflated sense of importance.

Who is nobody? “Outis” (Greek transliteration) was a name used by Odysseus when vanquishing cyclops. It is also a common pseudonym employed by artists and writers throughs history. Aha. The mystery of identity. Do we have the courage to state our name and claim what is of our own making? Or, do we hide behind a pseudonym for mirth, fear, ego or any other reason to obscure? Who is a nobody when it comes to making images? Who are the somebody’s of the image making craft and world and were they nobody who became somebody. How does that process even come about and what must one do to be somebody in a world populated by relative nobodies? Somebody knows who nobody is

What is of most value to us as image makers? Is it the image, the comments, some kind of recognition, approval or validation - and most of all does this have any more or less value or meaning if the response comes from a nobody or a somebody? Does it really matter? Do we really care? Why do we care and why as collective nobodies do we even make images? Is it liberating to remain a nobody and just down our own thing and play, or do we crave an identity to be somebody and then fall prey to the phantoms and sacrifices one must make to be somebody in a world of nobodies.

This topic raises a range of opportunities to explore both intangible process of being an image maker and visual outcomes around the visual notion of how to represent nobody in our images. One way to consider this practically is the before and after, or the approach and outcome of that journey into the exercise.

The exercises evolved from previous sessions on “nothing” and the notion of no-thing visually plus the *wu wei wu* notion of nothingness and the act of doing nothing to force an outcome - the matter and outcome gained by “doing without doing”. Perhaps nobody offers a doorway that opens to *being without being*. Is being nobody a direct exploration of ego and self in an image as the approach or the outcome of nobody being seen in our individual and collective outcomes?


May and June 2022. The challenge for this month is to photograph NOBODY.


Upload link for 14th May Meeting and for 11th June Meeting

https://canberraphotoconnect.smugmug.com/upload/84Rw4m/HollyMAY22


Click this link to see Chris Holly's notes about the group response tophotographing NOTHING.


Upload link for 9th April meeting

https://canberraphotoconnect.smugmug.com/upload/sfV4Rb/HollyAPRIL


April 2022. The challenge for this month is to photograph NOTHING.

How would you illustrate the concept of nothingness - emptiness. If this doesn't appeal photograph SOMETHING ELSE.

Ian Marshall has provided the following:

This video could be an inspiration to those who might want to start from nothing in a photography exercise, also in seeing beauty in imperfection.

WARNING !!! this involves bird photography. https://youtu.be/_LILn3WAJTs

Click here to see Chris Holly's musings and responses to the work presented and discussed.


Upload link for meeting on 12th March

https://canberraphotoconnect.smugmug.com/upload/72hgMR/HollyMar22.

Click DONE to see Gallery


Gallery Viewing Link - February

https://www.canberraphotoconnect.org/GALLERIES/Projects/Creative-Workshop/CreativeVision2022/CreativeVisionFeb22/n-hDzQpV

Creative Exercise for February and March 2022 - Embracing the Concept of Wei Wu Wei (action through inaction in photography

We started a journey of exploration of creativity by literally shooting from the hip and have since explored letting go in various ways – not controlling aperture, not controlling framing, not controlling focus or not controlling exposure. We have also experimented with deliberately working outside the normal bounds of depth of field, focus or exposure using proxies for images such as reflections, photographing through media such as glass or using intentional camera movement.

This month we are travelling further along the road of the spontaneous or serendipitous when it comes to making images by contemplating the concept of wei wu wei. The goal is to take a series of images that illustrate or incorporate this notion of action through inaction.

The link below explores some aspect of this concept from Chinese Daoism.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/maybe-its-just-me/201107/the-wisdom-wei-wu-wei-letting-good-things-happen

Another eastern concept that we could use to inform our practices, this time from Japanese Buddhism is Wabi sabi.

"This aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete" in nature. It is prevalent throughout all forms of Japanese art. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印, sanbōin), specifically impermanence (無常, mujō), suffering (苦, ku) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空, kū)."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

A related concept, also from Japanese culture is kintsugi

"As a philosophy, kintsugi is similar to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect.[11][12] Japanese aesthetics values marks of wear from the use of an object. This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken; it can also be understood as a justification of kintsugi itself, highlighting cracks and repairs events in the life of an object, rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage. The philosophy of kintsugi can also be seen as a variant of the adage, "Waste not, want not".[13] Kintsugi can relate to the Japanese philosophy of mushin (無心, "no mind"), which encompasses the concepts of non-attachment, acceptance of change, and fate as aspects of human life."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi


Creative Exercises 2020 - 2021

Creative Exercise (October 2021 - Meeting  11th October)

For this exercise we are to continue developing the themes we have been working on exploring with focus, photographing through various materials and photographing proxies such as shadows and mirrors. In addition we should explore the constraints of exposure. Experiment with capturing images that are "overexposed" or "underexposed" and examine if this too gives you a new way of seeing everyday objects and scenes.

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First Creative Exercise (Nov 2020)

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Second Creative Exercise (Point and Shoot with Soft Focus) (Jan 2021)

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Third Creative Exercise (Focus Study with Still Life) due Feb 13th

The aim of this exercise is to explore the creative use of focus and blur using a still life subject. Any lens and any camera can be used and the images may be made with the camera hand-held or on a tripod. This exercise is similar to the previous exercise in that you are challenged to step outside your comfort zone with focus and blur, but instead of working with serendipity, this time you are exploring with intent. Use the view finder/screen. Move the camera, shift the focus plane and vary other parameters to play and find images that you find satisfying. 

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Fourth Creative Exercise (Focus Study in Monochrome) due March 13th

In our exercises so far we have been experimenting with understanding our image making processes and surrendering some of our control over these processes. To do this we have  been exploring the creative possibilities of out-of-focus areas and blur in images. In this exercise we are also going to remove colour from our images. The goal is to make up to 6 monochrome (black/white/grey) images while still varying or removing in-focus elements.

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Fifth Creative Exercise (Ghosts and Shadows) due April 11th

For this exercise we will be continuing to work in mono and continuing to explore the creative use of restricted focal planes and out-of-focus areas. Thus so far we have removed colour and sharp focus from the image making process. Now consider removing the object from the frame as well. Consider how you might tell a story about an object from its reflection, imprint, shadow or other proxy.

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Creative Exercise for June 12th 

Continue exploring the themes explored so far and see how far you can push your comfort zone. To view gallery click DONE after viewing the upload page.

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Creative Exercise for August 14th

Continue with the exercises examining the creative use of blur. Choose your own contstraint.

Play with processing

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Creative Exercise for Sept 11th)

Participants should continue to explore the directions they have been pursuing. Also consider pursuing an idea you have seen employed by another participant. Experiment with putting transparent objects between the lens and the subject - privacy screens, tissue paper, cellophane, bubble wrap.

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SEE TOP OF PAGE FOR MOST RECENT PROJECT INSTRUCTIONS


Nine by Nine Exercise

Click links below to upload into the galleries for this exercise

Cas

Chris

Andrea

Andree

Alan C

Alan P

Brian

Eva

Ian

Judy

Helen

Pam

Suzanne

Michael

Tom

Click on the following links to view the various nine by nine galleries

Cas

Chris

Andrea

Andree

Alan C

Alan P

Brian

Eva

Ian

Judy

Helen

Pam

Suzanne

Michael

Tom