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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Photo Safari

I carry a simple Canon digital camera everywhere I go. I use it to shoot my work and it cleans up very nicely in Photoshop. I have also found it to be a great way to build visual content in my head and on my hard drive, and have started going out and doing what I call a Photo Safari. Because I travel a great deal and go to some notable locations, I have a wealth of things from which to choose.

Originally I found myself overwhelmed with wanting to shoot postcard subject photos to share with others about my trips, as well as the interesting stuff to inspire my imagination. I found, over time, that most of those postcards subjects are indeed postcards already available and can be bought for a minimal amount or the image can be found on the internet. Re-shooting these images is like shooting the amazing sunset I and everybody on earth has photographed at least once.

So instead, I leave those subjects to the professionals and concentrate on the little things that catch my eye. Among those I have found interesting are:
  • Graffiti lettering and characters
  • Unique signs
  • Statues and parts of statues
  • Plants and animals
  • Architecture and spaces
  • Unique people (with permission and sometimes a donation)
Not only does this type of focus and capture help build more visual inspiration and imagination, it also builds an eye for seeing the wealth of the world around us - how parts make a whole, how connections can be found in previously disconnected things. One of my favorite bloggers is Robert Genn. In a great blog post; Working with Miksang, he goes even deeper into the mediative and contemplative nature of using the digital camera as a tool for focusing on the world around us. Check it out.

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