This week I entered a contest on Instagram called “A Study in 9” – you had to choose ONE subject and either shoot 9 different perspectives or 9 different edits of the same photo or some variation along those lines. This is the first time I’ve ever submitted anything, but the idea intrigued me and I felt inspired by the challenge – to change my perspective not only once but 9 times! It reminded me of this assignment I had in one of my photography classes – we had to choose ONE object and take 100 photos of it in up to 4 locations. This was extremely challenging – and I loved EVERY minute of it! I relish exercises that make me look outside my usual perspective. Ones that make me shift my point of view and challenge me to take a step back and really see what it is I’m looking at and why I want to share it.
The online dictionary defines perspective as: 1. A way of regarding situations or topics etc. – synonyms: view, position. 2. The appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer – synonyms: linear perspective. Two very different meanings and two very important parts of photography. We set up a photo based on the appearance, how to create the right distance in the view finder so that the image relates to what we want to say. And at the same time we are regarding a situation or topic from our own point of view and sharing that.
It always amazes me how powerful perspective is – how effective it can be or ineffective – especially in photography. It can send a message, it can challenge the viewer, it can change a perspective on something larger than the image itself. Not that every image has to carry a meaningful message, and even if it does it isn’t up to you how it is interpreted – everyone brings their own perspective to the table, their own lens they view life through. We all see things differently, our life experiences shape the way we view the world, and when we stop and view things through someone else’s eyes we change perspectives even if just for a moment. Then we interpret through our own perspective, but in that one moment we get to see things through a fresh pair of eyes. And that is pretty awesome!
Life can get pretty ordinary if we don’t stop and see the extraordinary! If we don’t change perspectives once in a while we might miss out on something amazing. We need to challenge ourselves to get some perspective in the way we think too – to stop and weigh out our emotions and logic and take a step back. We often get too caught up in the comparison game and don’t realize that what we already have is amazing.
So in light of all that, back to what sparked this post to begin with – the photo competition! I chose to shoot my photos from the park near my work – it gets some great light and the views along the river are pretty serene! It is an escape, a place where I can go to think, a place that holds peace. I’ve taken photos there lots of times and love all the random seating I’ve found. So my title was “In my own little corner”, I chose three of my favorite spots in the park and edited them in three different ways.
This is the first spot I found! I loved it because someone took the time to create it! They found their “corner” off the beaten path.
I chose to edit it in several different apps drawing on the cooler tones – making it feel more winter-like.
Same photo in Black & White – because I just LOVE B&W photos! They give you a totally different perspective – you can see things you didn’t notice before – things can sometimes be clearer or more abstract. It’s fun 🙂
This one I edited in again several different apps bringing out the warmer tones this time to give it a nice glow – it feels sunny and more spring-esque!
This is the second spot I found and I just couldn’t walk past without taking a swing (and a photo!). I love it because swings bring out the kid in all of us, and it was put in honestly the most random spot – so it was intentional. I edited in a bunch of apps and filtered it in cooler tones so it has that cold feeling even though it was sunny.
The same shot in B&W – it looks almost stormy in this one! I love that it changes the feel completely!
Warmer tones made this one feel like it was that golden hour when the sun turns everything into liquid gold! It feels warm and inviting and like the perfect spot to dream!
This was the last place I found and I thought it was so special! Whenever it is sunny these two chairs will appear! It is the perfect place to share with someone! To talk about life and get a new perspective on things 🙂 I edited it again drawing on the cooler tones.
The black & white makes it feel old and vintagey! It brings out the shadows more clearly echoing the rays of light.
Edited in several apps drawing on the warmer tones – give it an inviting feel.
The finished product! I’m quite happy with how it turned out 🙂
My favorite part of the whole exercise was looking at everyone else’s interpretation of the challenge! There were so many amazing perspectives and finished products! All of the submissions were hashtagged #heyfred_astudyin9 if you want to check it out for yourself. Well I hope you get inspired to change your perspective this weekend!