A Year With My Camera: Creativity – Nothing Is Original

As mentioned previously, I’m joining in with the ‘A Year With My Camera’ photography course with Emma Davies Photography…I’m really enjoying learning new things but finding the time for homework isn’t always easy.

One of my favourite sections of the course is ‘Creativity’ but I’m about 3 weeks behind with projects!

Here’s a short intro from Emma about the work today:

‘One of the biggest stumbling blocks to overcome as a photographer is the feeling that it’s all been done before, that you’ll never create something new and original: What’s the point?

Well, the point is that nothing is new; everything has been done before. All the photos have been taken. The landscapes, the viewpoints, the close ups, the portraits. Everything.’

That’s pretty true so one of our task options was to take inspiration from an existing image.

‘You have permission to be unoriginal. From this day on, don’t let the fact that someone else has already taken the photograph you want to, stop you…

All you can do is promise yourself that you’ll bring something of you to every photo you take. Your mood, your preferences, your history, your undivided attention. Next time you hear yourself complaining there’s no point, and it’s all been done before, tell yourself: “Yes, but not by me.”

Take one of your photographs, or ideas for a photograph, and try either substituting one thing for another, or combining it with something else. (Or use someone else’s photo, painting, book, opera as your starting point.)’



The first inspiring image I chose is a painting. It’s a favourite of mine and I’ve often tried to re-create it in some way, usually in Milton Country Park.

lisas-life.com #ayearwithmycamera
Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Stella and I visited the Water Gardens in Gooderstone, Norfolk recently. There is a strong ‘Monet’s garden’ influence throughout much of the landscape. Perfect location to try something…but what to change?

lisas-life.com Gooderstone Water Gardens

My version has both an extra bridge and a reflection visible and I like these added depths. I chose an area too where the trees are more obvious because I do love trees in a photo. I’ve also reduced the clarity in Lightroom to give a more impressionist feel.


Someone Else’s Photo

For photographic influence I looked to my talented friends. I’ve mentioned Martyn before on this blog as sometimes he’s kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to accompany me on photography outings.

When we first became friends through Blipfoto I wasn’t in recovery from my vestibular migraines yet. His images from various National Trust Properties were both a source of inspiration and slight envy.

Oxburgh Hall NT
Oxburgh Hall NT by Martyn Fordham LRPS

A set of monochrome shots he took at Oxburgh Hall were particularly brilliant in my opinion and, once again, I loved the reflection. Now that I’m better it seemed a good idea to make time to go and see this place for myself and, as it turns out, it’s only a stone’s throw from Gooderstone. I already knew what I’d do differently here.

lisas-life.com Oxburgh Hall

Colour. I got more green than I bargained for as the moat has rather a large amount of algae at the moment but I’m still pleased with my efforts.

I don’t have Martyn’s height, or his wide angle lens, in my favour but I think this still makes a nice image.


There will be a proper post of our beautiful day in Norfolk at some point but a time thief keeps stealing valuable photo-processing time! Plus, now I’m better I keep going out for long walks taking even more photos!

Do you have any lovely photogenic locations nearby?