“To me the motif is an insignificant factor; what I want to reproduce is what lies between the motif and me.”
- Claude Monet
People ask if I have made any New Years resolutions. No. I make resolutions whenever I need too, I hope. But I am launching a new project. And New Year seems a great time to start. Doing something publicly has immense power. It’s about the power of promises. When you do something publicly you have the extra pressure of failure in front of others. I know it works for me and it works for many of my students.
This blog / email has done this for me. You, my reader, hold me unintentionally accountable to write today and again tomorrow. Simple and beautiful.
So I have this idea. It’s been brewing for years. I hold off, probably because it isn’t fully sorted. Then finally I force myself to finish it. To really start I build an audience and last night I started that.
Within an hour I had twenty subscribers all wanting my Weekly Photography Exercises. So I think I am definitely on to something.
So Len, what are you talking about?
Well, I promised my Master Class weekly homework. And I have decided that many more of you would benefit from the same exercises.
Practicing and experimenting in the safe and constructive environment of my classroom is a great way to extend yourself. To take your work to the next level. You won’t take breathtakingly beautiful photographs while doing them because these are your scales.
You know, a musician practices a few scales or a favorite tune before the performance. As a skier I always try to stretch and warm my muscles before the first turn and then I always start on my strongest foot. So that I am warm and ready for the performance. I build up slowly.
So I am offering you some photographic stretching exercises, some experiments, some pushing out of your comfort zone and some exploring. I hope there will be some fantastic discussions and great learning.
The goal is one exercise per week. Once subscribed you will receive your exercise in your email inbox on Monday morning and you have a week to work on it. You can then post your photograph in the threaded comments of the exercise. These will be hosted on the Len’s School website as blog posts. Hopefully within the week you will post your photographic answer to the exercise. And then we can all move onto the next one. Plenty of time to discuss and explore. Offer support and encouraging words to others. And to figure out what they mean to you.
I believe there is something special to be had in forming an online community with these exercises. That sharing and discussing will help with doing them and with learning more about our favorite art form.
If you are interested please sign up at this link:
The first email should arrive Monday morning. Fingers crossed that my automated system works. There are actually three exercises in the first week. One goes through giving appropriate feedback and encouragement, another on how to post a photograph and the last is the weekly exercise.
If you have studied with me before you can expect some repeats of exercises. Apologies in advance, but I think they are all worth repeating.
I hope that those that sign up commit to doing them and sharing their journey.
It’s my sisters birthday today over in Esperence, would so love to drop in and see her today. Thinking about it brings tears. I love her so much. Wishing her a beautiful year ahead.
South West Rocks, from last years Abstract Photography Workshop. Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2019
Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer