Creativity Exercise: Embrace Imperfection

This week's exercise is a little bit different. Instead of working on creating something specifically in camera, this week you're going to focus on your MISSES. Yup, those images that you would normally just toss on the cutting room floor....let's find something in them worth keeping. 

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So often, we're caught up in technical perfection, that we can easily discount an image because it doesn't check one of the standard boxes. A limb is cut off, a highlight is blown, focus is off, motion blur, junky composition, too grainy, etc, etc, etc. If you're anything like me, you can probably find a million reasons to toss an image into the trash. 

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But, by so easily discounting the image based on technical merit, are we missing the emotion or the story that might still be there? Will you care in 20 years that the focus is off? Think your client will care? They're only questions you can answer, but they are worth asking. 

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This isn't to say that you shouldn't STRIVE for technical know how - or at least know when you're purposefully breaking the rules - but it's more about letting perfection go by the wayside when other factors can still make the image a keeper. 

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This week, take some time to dig through your old images. The ones you didn't flag and didn't edit. Look beyond the mistakes and see if there are any hidden gems there.

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If you're questioning if it's worth keeping, I often find that editing can help me decide. Maybe you can't see the emotion when it's in colour, but when you convert it to black and white the missed focus or motion blur isn't as obtrusive. Maybe you can crop it a different way to make it work for you. Maybe you can use radial or gradient filters to draw the viewer's eye away from the mistake. Or maybe you just relax and embrace the error, and realize that sometimes errors can make seriously beautiful art.

Don't keep old images? No problem. Just keep everything you shoot this week and see if there are any frames in there you'd normally toss, but that might be worth editing. 

I'm super excited to see what you come up with! Make sure to use #unscriptedmentoring on IG so we can see your images. 

- Kelly