Monday, December 19, 2011

Flash Fill Photography

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My Back Yard, Photography
©2011 Mary Rush Gravelle

Recently I learned about flash fill photography in my Photography II class at the university. This is an easy technique to grasp and promises to delight most photographers of any level who try it. The results can look magical. The flash crystalizes focus on the object of the flash. The rest of the composition goes out of focus and gets treated to some unusual effects.

Blue Railing at Fort Bayard.
©2011 Mary Rush Gravelle

Our class took a field trip to try this technique out. We headed out to Fort Bayard in Bayard, New Mexico, 20 minutes from campus just before dusk. We ran around the grounds of Fort Bayard flashing anything and everything in total excitement of seeing the outcome. Most of us were thrilled with what the process delivered. I certainly was.

Tapestry, Photography at Fort Bayard.
 ©2011 Mary Rush Gravelle

I became enthralled with one particular place on the grounds and took many photos from that location. See "Tapestry" and "Blue Railing".

Sir Kitty and the Cement Block.
Photography in my neighborhood.
©2011 Mary Rush Gravelle
I recently did some flash fill shooting while walking my cat, Sir Kitty, in the neighborhood. Soon, I had a squad of young boys flashing the neighborhood with their point and shoot cameras. It was quite fun.

Let me know if you try this technique and how you like it. Find out more by googling “flash fill photography”. There is a ton of information on it.

Please accept my humblest apologies for not posting last week. I was down with the flu.

Have a great week. Flash away!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coffee Pot Theory of the Creative Process: Part 3

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@2004-2011 Mary Rush Gravelle
This process may not be shared for professional gain.
Please obtain written consent. All rights reserved.
You may share it for consideration in the way I have set forth in the article.
Please share only by giving full credit as follows:
"A creative process developed by Mary Rush Gravelle."

Last week I explained Stages One and Two of my creative process: Coffee Pot Theory of the Creative Process. Today we will finish up with the remaining three stages. I have used the word “idea” throughout but you might also consider interchanging it with “project” because I think that the process is the same for any creative endeavor. No matter if you are an artist, writer, musician, businessperson, layperson, or another kind of person (;-0), this process applies.

Original article was published in 2004 in the ARTistic FX magazine in Hartford, Connecticut.

3rd Stage: Revival
If the idea has managed to survive to this point that means that you have a newfound hope for the probability of your idea. You revive it and ask, “How can I make it happen?” You might research other ideas that are similar or ask others for advice. You might also enlist the help of an expert in the field of your idea. You begin to grapple with how to bring it forth. Possibilities exist.

4th Stage: Shaping
Now that you have given your idea a reason for living, you move into action by organizing your thoughts. “Okay, I think it’ll work” is what you say now. You plan your strategy and feel confident that it can be done.

Featured artwork.
Snow Window, Photograph. ©2011 Mary Rush Gravelle
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5th Stage: Yippee!
You have given shape and form to your idea, and it is now a livable and breathable thing. “What a great idea!” you declare. You have moved through all the stages of moaning, groaning, crying, and laughing. Now it is time to celebrate because the idea has been made manifest into the real world.

Although a coffee lover, I realize that I feel the same buzz from creating something new as I feel from drinking my coffee. 

Run my Theory through your own creative process, and see if it fits the way you create. I would love to hear your comments.