One of my favorite photography blogs is Münchow’s Creative Photo Blog. As you might guess from the title of his blog, Otto von Münchow doesn’t write about the technical aspects of photography so much as the creative part (his tag line is “Creativity is within us all.”) A lot of what he writes about concerns how to really “see” when we take photographs. And how it helps if we take different pictures from what we usually do. For instance, for a recent project in which he went in to his backyard to shoot rather common settings—a wrought iron bench, a gathering of leaves, some old garden furniture—he writes about expanding his vision by shooting in different ways: “It could be shooting with an unfocused lens, using long, handheld exposure time for blurry imagery, or it could be putting a 400 mm lens on the camera, using minimum depth of field, or something absolutely crazy. Again, the point for me is to expand and challenge myself so that I don’t get stuck in my present photographic vision.”
I love this idea. And he’s right. I don’t have my usual quiver of lenses and such with me here in New Orleans, but yesterday when I walked around Jackson Square, I decided to take advantage of a single lens and just try and look at things differently. To try and see the world through a slightly different perspective. It’s not so much that I was trying not to “get stuck in my present photographic vision,” as Otto says, but not get stuck in my emotional and intellectual vision of the world around me. In other words, maybe by looking at the world in a slightly different frame, I’d see and feel things that I wouldn’t normally. And that’s, I think, exactly what happened.