Creative Exercises – Make the best out of the worst

Not often do things fall into place when you decide on stepping out of the chaos of the city life and head towards a forest & expect things to fall in place – especially when you are out there with the intent to photograph the wild. Things get worse if you could call so when it’s not the right season to have a good sighting of the wildlife, forget even photographing some. You have all the right equipment, you are in the right place but things are not falling into place with regard to sightings or the circumstances are not favourable enough. Sounds familiar right? 

There are two things that one can decide on doing, 

  1. Keep aside your shooting gear and sit back and enjoy the safari and the drive through the forest and feel the place with all your senses. 
  2. Push yourself to think outside the box and get creative on shooting whatever is in front of you with a different perspective. 

While everyone loves to do the former it’s always the latter which is challenging but always tempting. The idea here is simple: get out of your comfort zone and play around with your gear or your vision. While it’s pretty common to always hold a telephoto lens pointed towards the forest, spice things up by using a wider lens or a zoom lens and try seeing the forest with a new pair of eyes. If its tele lenses are what you always love to carry and are lacking other options then use it to your advantage to frame things beyond conventional methods. Try getting an abstract closeup of a mammal or shoot through the obstacles like leaves or even the canter guard rails. Switch your picture profile ( on the field ) to black & white and see how the world looks in shades rather than in colours. Use unconventional settings on the camera. Go slow on the shutter speed or try pushing the white balance beyond the limits. 

These types of creative exercises not just make you think beyond what your eye and mind are programmed to think and act especially when out in the field but also serve as an opportunity to understand your gear and the settings better so that you know what to do when you really want a certain desired effect in your camera. You never know what you will end up gaining as a result of such activity. 

All photos in this article are shot using Panasonic GH5 + Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400 f4-6.3 ( thanks to Panasonic India for loaning this lens )

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