Friday, September 11, 2009

Motivating Creativity - A Walk Around Capitol Hill

Canopy at Eastern Market
Have you ever had one of those days when the fountain of creative juices ran dry?  If you are like me, you have probably had this experience.  Hopefully this does not happen often, but even for the rare occasion there are a number of remedies for this sad state. 
Dogs Playing in Lincoln Park
This entry focuses on one activity that can get you shooting when you can think of nothing other than “what should I shoot?”  I suggest that you simply take a walk.  Sure, we all love photographs of exotic places, interesting people, and unique things; but you live in the midst of all these, so what is stopping you.  Have you shot everything there is to shoot within walking distance of your home?
East Capitol Street NE
What may seem mundane, routine, and uninteresting within the sphere your life touches, is likely distinctive or possibly even striking to someone else.
Eastern Market Main Door
We can extend this recommendation of taking a walk, to photographing your life.  Not necessarily a self portrait of you eating cornflakes for breakfast, but photographs of the things you know.  The places you go.  Things you do.  The “stuff” that is a daily part of your life.
Flag over Eastern Market
In making this recommendation, I frequently get the response that the “stuff” in my life is pretty boring.  I respond “GREAT!!”  If the things you see and do every day do not appear worthy of your photography, you have the best of all challenges…making them interesting through a creative approach.
Immancipation Statue Lincoln Park
This challenges you to see the ordinary in an extraordinary way.  It challenges you to see the things in your life from a new perspective.  Try a different angle, a different time, different light, an innovative lens selection.
Ninth Street NE
All the shots in this entry are from my neighborhood…the Capitol Hill area of Washington DC.  I am fortunate to have an unending supply of great photography opportunities within walking distance.  I took each of the shots while on a jaunt around the neighborhood.  I intentionally limited my boundaries…it is very easy to stray out of the immediate neighborhood and find yet another way to shoot the Lincoln Memorial (and yes I do have several ideas in my back pocket!).
Ninth Street NE-2
Finally, I want to reinforce a maxim stated frequently on this blog.  The best camera to have, is the one you have with you.  None of the shots made for this post were the product of a DSLR.  These photographs were all made with my pocket camera; a Canon G10.
Seventh Street SE
I left this little revelation for last so you would not be biased as you viewed the photographs.  I think you will agree that this non-DSLR camera holds up pretty well against the rest of the photography in this blog (typically taken with a Canon 5D).  In the interest of full disclosure, all the photographs are three exposure HDR shots processed in Photomatix Pro and Adobe Lightroom.
I hope you enjoyed the photography and I hope you are not feeling creatively mired.  But if you are, go take a walk.
Go make some great photography!


  1. Glad to hear you got the G10. Great favorite was the third one. And, you are exactly right in making uninteresting things interesting. Thanks Craig!

  2. Craig, these are all excellent and have a lot of depth. The first one of E. Market is incredible. The problem with great photographs is limited wall space.