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Photography and creative writing

The terms “technology” and “creative writing” may not often appear in the same sentence. But when it comes to digital photography, the world is your oyster. Think about it:

  • The hardware is inexpensive. You can pick up a decent camera for next to nothing, and if you use a mobile phone you’ve probably got one already;
  • The software is inexpensive. The most popular medium for storing pictures, the SD card, provides massive storage at very little cost, and can be used over and over again;
  • Finally, the process is inexpensive: if you don’t like a picture, just delete it. No expensive photographic paper wasted, no developing and printing outlay thrown down the drain.

So what do you need to do, apart from the obvious step of acquiring a camera?

  • Carry the camera with you at all times.
  • Always be prepared to take a photo, even if you can’t immediately see how you might use it.
  • Use one or more of your photos as a prompt to get your creative writing juices flowing.

To give you an idea of what can happen, last week I had to collect my car from a garage, where it had been serviced. The garage is on a route I normally travel by car, meaning I don’t notice anything except what I’m supposed to notice: the road! But this time I went by bus. It was freezing, but I saw, perhaps really saw for the first time, a cemetery, caked in snow and ice. I took three photos, of which this is the best, in my opinion:

Brrrr!Could that be used as a prompt? I think so. I could certainly use it if I wrote fiction. I will certainly try to use it as a starter for non-fiction.

In fact, I already have: this post!


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