Category Archives: Random

The Freedom of Unfamiliarity: An Open Letter to Artist Wannabes

By JD Hancock

Let me ask you a question: what do you like about the images you create? At what point during your creative process do you start liking what you have created? You see, there’s a principle, something called the mere-exposure effect. It’s a psychological phenomenon observed in people that we tend to like things that are familiar to us. The mere-exposure effect is an important consideration for artists and creative people who want to create the unknown. And for photographers in particular, it’s even more important. We take bits from the real world, interpret and reproduce them as something new–as a new way of seeing. Or, at least that’s what most of us want to do–if we can take our creative side seriously enough, and not settle for what we’ve seen, or felt, or experienced a million times. For us, that’s the question, when we like what we have created, is it because of an emotional process, an inner growth, a divulging of humankind’s secrets, a new perspective? Or… is it just familiar?

How Photographers See the World Differently

Sheen's Nature Photography

Have you ever thought about how photography impacts you? I’m not referring to the business side but the personal side. Something inspired us to pick up the camera at some point in our lives. When you used it for first time, did you already know that you would have the eye, the passion for photography? Did the desire to be behind the lens occur after seeing one of your first photos or did it evolve over time?

Do You Remember? Five Memories From the Days of Film

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With apologies to our younger or newer photographers, today I am wearing a fine pair of rose tinted spectacles. They are quite an old pair of spectacles, bought, in fact in the days of film photography and their effect on me is to induce a certain amount of melancholy for the days of celluloid, chemicals and red lights, photographic red lights, I should hastily add. Join me in a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the great (and not so great) things about film photography.

Learning from Your Mistakes Even When No One Knows You’ve Made Them

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By the time we’re adults, most of us have learned that mistakes are much better teachers than successes are. Mistakes engage our ingrained loss aversion. If you make the mistake of walking away from your camera bag on the sidewalk, if it’s stolen, you’ll feel the sting of losing your camera to a thief every time you set it down in public. Loss aversion is usually a stronger force in our mind than the drive to acquire. It means that, as far as our subconscious learning mind is concerned, we’ll work harder not to lose something we already have, than to work hard to get something we want, but don’t yet have.

How to be a Holistic Photographer

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Today, we are going to go a little left-field and talk about taking a holistic approach to photography. Regular readers will know that I often talk about pre-planning, particularly in travel photography but what I haven’t mentioned is that I often take an entirely unscientific and entirely random approach to shooting as well. This I like to call holistic photography. So what is holistic photography? Fans of the late author Douglas Adams will know that beyond the famous five books of his Hitchhikers Trilogy, he also wrote two books featuring Dirk Gently, a holistic detective. Dirk makes use of the the fundamental interconnectedness of all things to solve the whole crime. The slightly zany idea behind holistic photography is to use the same principle of interconnectedness to bring us to great pictures.

Valentine’s Day Photography Inspiration: Roses, Chocolates and More

valentines day

Valentine’s Day. Scrumptious, rich chocolates, romantic dinners and an assortment of flowers. A big day for florists, candy makers and restaurants who help couples celebrate Valentine’s Day. As photographers, we also make our own sweetness. Images of beautiful flowers. Photographs of chocolates and delectable desserts. One of the “lovely” things about Valentine’s photography is the creative perspective and use of different lenses by photographers.