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Maintaining Motivation & Creativity with Ellen Anon

Maintaining Motivation & Creativity with Ellen Anon

A Review by Rick McKenzie –

First, I would like to say that if you have been neglecting your camera of late and Ellen’s presentation didn’t inspire or motivate you then you probably weren’t watching.

Ellen’s background in clinical psychology and her expertise with the camera and photographic techniques were quite apparent. She was able to identify and list strategies and techniques to help excite and release that photographic passion that we sometimes bury away. In an easy yet comprehensive way she demonstrated some of these methods by using images from outside her own home. Two favourites included combining ICM and standard images of sunsets over the water and the very pleasing photos of hummingbirds that had been added to drawings. These by themselves were sufficient to excite at least this club member.

Ellen provided us with many ideas to inspire and motivate.  A most noteworthy point that she made several times was to always try to pay attention to what you are seeing. See and explore like a child, where everything is wondrous and there are no pressures or expectations to capture award winning images. Just do it for yourself. We all know how easily accomplished this is during a trip when everything is new and fresh and different. You WANT to get out there and shoot everything.  By looking closely at a flower in your yard, a shadow or a reflection some of that wonder might be rekindled.

Start a project of something YOU would like to do but always feel free to stop if and when its not working for you.

Always keep a camera ready… just in case you see something that excites.

Do something with your images. Make a book or combine them with some other art form. Try different techniques that you may have never tried before or maybe just forgot about:  focus stacking, ICM, selective focus, creative post processing just to name a few.

It used to be that magazines and camera clubs were where new ideas were born. Today, online workshops, webinars, YouTube and social media are great sources of inspiration. And you can do it at your leisure.

If I may summarize a most enjoyable presentation – whether we realize it or not, the hobbies and interests that we have are our ways of reducing and relieving daily stresses. We don’t have to take them so seriously that we cause more stress and become disappointed or disillusioned. We need to experiment, look at the wonder of things all around, do something that you like to do and enjoy the experience. We don’t necessarily need permission to have fun but sometimes it’s just nice to hear that it’s OK.

In Ellen’s words,

 “Experiment, play, observe, fail… dare to succeed… and most of all, have fun!!”

Thanks for the Inspiration


Ellen has graciously agreed to let the Hamilton Camera Club offer a recording of her presentation to our members. Ellen’s presentation can be seen again on our Member’s Only Tips & Tutorials page under the Speaker’s Notes & Presentations drop-down menu.