Interview with Brooke Shaden

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In this video interview, Brooke Shaden—one of the most recognized names in contemporary art photography—describes an exercise from her book which will set your creative mind on fire, helping you come up with dozens of ideas for your next photo shoot.

Brooke Shaden is interviewed in the video by Frederick Van Johnson. If you’re short on time just skip ahead to 12:37 where Brooke describes the exercise. It’ll help you get ideas flowing. It only takes a few seconds. Give it a try yourself and use the comment box below to let me know if it worked for you.

The sub-title of Brooke Shaden’s book is “Training your mind to make great art a habit”. And inspiration really is a habit. If you focus your unconscious mind on spotting and alerting your conscious self to great images ideas (google ‘reticular activating system’ for more on this) image ideas will begin to come to you automatically.

And please don’t use a lack of equipment or photo processing software as an excuse for poor images.

Even if you own only a cheap entry level camera you have a tool that is technically far more advanced than anything owned by Ansel Adams. Open-up one of the free on-line editing tools, or Adobe Photoshop if you have it, and you can transform the dullest of compositions in to a masterpiece. (Brooke herself says in the video that she doesn’t do anything particularly advanced in Photoshop.)

In my article Pentaprism vs Pentamirror – Which is Better?, I say it’s not the equipment you have that makes you a great photographer, it’s what you do with your brain. Brooke Shaden echoes this in the video when she says, “Whatever you can get your hands on is the best tool for you at that moment”.

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