You'd think this would have come sooner, too, given the number of hours I've put in working on my photography when not actively working on my photography. In fact, Ansel Adams in his book "The Camera" talks about pre-visualizing photos all the time as a means of better acquainting our brains with the idea of a finished print.
|Step 84 in Barre, Vermont. 1/160 f13 ISO400|
Actually, I often go to bed thinking about a photo-related problem, or a concept, and wake up with a much clearer understanding of it. Some time ago I spent quite a few nights a while back running the f-stops through my head backwards and forwards while falling asleep. One morning later, I woke up and they were there for good, and still are.
So the upshot of this is if you want to become a better photographer, be a photographer all the time, whether you have a camera in your hands or not.
But to be quite honest, sometimes it takes a bit more than this to get myself going. Fortunately, my trip to the Darkroom Gallery provided me with something else to help with this -- Vision Quest Cards.
Now, we're all familiar with the lists of inspiring things to shoot that can be found all over the Internet nowadays, and to some extent, that's what photographer and photo workshop teacher Douglas Beasley has created here. But trust me on this, these cards are infinitely better than similar lists found online.
First and foremost, being slightly larger than a set of playing cards, they're easy enough to toss in my camera bag and have with me in case I'm out and about and at a loss for subjects. Thirty-six assignments, beautifully packaged in a folding cardboard box and designed with simplicity in mind, all at my fingertips no matter where I am.
Then there's the goal of the cards, spelled out on the back of the box as:
"I offer these Vision Quest assignment cards to help jump start your creative process and invite the power of intuition into your photography." -- Douglas Beasley
And equally important, found on the first non-assignment card in the deck:
"Invest in your vision, not just your equipment." -- Douglas Beasley