Playing by the Creek

Just a few digital aquarelles made while fooling around with a camera, a creek and some kokanee salmon – a different kind of fall color. I find it highly beneficial just to play with the camera sometimes, to make images with low stakes, no expectations, no concern for technical aspects. Musicians get to noodle around and improvise, painters and drawers do spontaneous sketches and throw paint around, poets toss off casual imagery or pleasing doggerel. Why do many photographers feel every image has to polished perfection? Most such moments won’t result in anything for the ages, and I don’t really think this set is any exception – I’ll be rather surprised if any of these really work for me after living with them. But I do enjoy them for the palette of a mountain stream bed, cool water and flashes of fish flesh.

6 thoughts on “Playing by the Creek

  1. Interesting thought about the “noodling”, improvisations and play. Looking at the photos in my local archives versus those that actually see the light of day, I think I do a fair amount of that, actually. ;-)

    • I certainly do a lot of it, and I definitely feel it’s beneficial. I can think of a few fully portfolio-worthy images I’ve made this way, too. But for me the challenge seems to be recognizing when it’s time to stop the noodling and get serious, when there’s a really solid image in there that needs some technical effort to bring it out. I’m not generally great at recognizing that moment.

      • I can honestly say that I rarely recognize these images until later. In the field I just try all kinds of things and move around, often quickly. Staying in one spot and endlessly “working the scene” isn’t for me. :P

    • Thanks, Rajan! That one is probably my pick of the set as well. I would like to print some of these and have them around for a while – that’s probably the only way I’ll really know if I like them long-term.

  2. I agree, playing with the camera, doing things we don’t usually do, using lenses we don’t usually use and settings, too – it’s all good. Keeps us loose and awake. I like this view of salmon – I did something similar a while back with carp at a garden and really enjoyed it.

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