This is a series of blog posts focusing on experimentation. Experimentation is key to spurring my growth as an artist. It encourages me to explore new aesthetics, to learn new techniques and to continually focus on my process.

The idea behind these experiments is what I call “thoughts in a box”, but it’s more commonly known as creative constraints, i.e., a set of rules designed to make one use their available resources, in new ways.

In each post I will outline the constraints I worked with followed by a selection of the results. One of the vital aspects of this type of work for me, is to repeat the same set of constraints at a later point in time, in order to push myself to use those same resources differently.

Variations

In this particular series, my main constraint is the subject – it has to be the same in every shot. I can use different angles, and different lenses, but the main focus (as always) is on pushing my creative abilities.

1

The subject of each photo has to be the same.

2

The photo has to be taken from the same place.

Variations – Wind Movements #1

Spring – Summer 2021

Equipment: 
Nikon D7500; Nikkor 18-200mm; Nikkor 300mm

 

Variations – Wind Movements #2

August 2021 (NOTE: More from this series can be seen here https://www.incidentalmeditations.com/rhythms-repetitions/ ) 

 

Equipment Restriction
Nikon D7500; 300mm

Travels Reimagined

In January of this year, I had to self-isolate while waiting to see if I had been infected with COVID-19. I am privileged enough to have an office with a pull-out sofa, so that is where I hid out. Not surprisingly, I went a little stir crazy. I was tired of looking out my window and seeing the same old thing. To make matters worse, we were having a very grey spell in Berlin. I desperately wanted sun, or a new view. I wanted to photograph wide open skies, and water and fields and, and, and…

Thankfully, before I got too depressed, my creativity pushed back. It asked: How can I inspire myself within the confines of my 4 walls?

In this particular series, the first constraint was a given, the other two I set myself:

1

Stay in the same space.

2

Photograph something I have never photographed before.

3

Use a technique I have never used before.

 

I took stock of what I had. There was little to inspire me.

I decided to veg and stream something on my computer instead.

Then an idea struck.

I had a nice big high resolution monitor. I had all my old images on my hard drive. What if, I used photos I had already taken, to travel back to some of the places that had inspired me most? That is, what if I put old images up on my monitor and re-photographed them using my camera, and with different techniques than I had originally used? And yes, I realize, I could probably have put them in some app or program and just re-edited, but I was keen to use my camera and see what I could do using the constraints I had set.

 

I took stock of what I had. There was little to inspire me.

I decided to veg and stream something on my computer instead.

Then an idea struck.

I had a nice big high resolution monitor. I had all my old images on my hard drive. What if, I used photos I had already taken, to travel back to some of the places that had inspired me most? That is, what if I put old images up on my monitor and re-photographed them using my camera, and with different techniques than I had originally used? And yes, I realize, I could probably have put them in some app or program and just re-edited, but I was keen to use my camera and see what I could do using the constraints I had set.

Travels Reimagined #1

January 2021

Equipment 
Photos from Past Holidays (Displayed on Desktop Monitor); Nikon D7500; Nikkor 18-200mm

Travels Reimagined #2

January 2021

Equipment 
Photos from Past Holidays (Displayed on Desktop Monitor); Nikon D7500; Nikkor 18-200mm

Thoughts in a box

In this particular series, I set the following constraints:

1

Photos must be taken from my desk chair with whatever camera/set-up I have available.

2

No furniture is allowed to be moved.

3

Existing lighting conditions have to be used.

Thoughts in a Box Trail #1

August 2019

Equipment Restriction
iPhone SE 1st generation

Thoughts in a Box Trail #2

August 2019

Equipment Restriction
Nikon D7500 with 18-200mm

Thoughts in a Box Trail #3

December 2020

Equipment Restriction
Nikon D7500 with 18-200mm