A Beginner’s Approach to Creating Series

In March & April, I taught another session of my Intro to Architecture Series class. The goal of the class is to teach students how to begin creating series. By this, I mean a grouping of images that work well together as a body of work.

When you’re not used to working this way, I’ve found one of the easiest approaches is to choose one location and thoroughly examine that space. If even this feels overwhelming, you can narrow the focus further by choosing one subject within that location, which is exactly what I did by choosing to focus my attention on the chandeliers of the Palmer House. The subject then dictated what lens to use, my 14-24mm. To direct my focus even further I choose only one theme for my subject: symmetry.

This all may sound counter-intuitive to creativity, but I truly believe that the more limitations you set, the greater you see your chosen subject and theme. You notice things you might pass by if you’re taking in everything, you actually begin seeking out these specific elements and, hopefully, spend more time creating the shot.

With all that said, even within all those parameters (location: Palmer House, subject: chandeliers, gear: wide lens, and theme: symmetry), there were still 2 different ways to utilize symmetry. The first, was a straight look-up, centered shot. I managed 2 images that I liked:

Typically, I like all the images in a series to be either color or black & white. However, I feel like it’s okay to break that rule if there’s a relative equal amount of images of each and there’s something else that ties them together. In this instance, the mood – dim lighting and a bit of drama.

The other grouping of images was all black & white, centered but not a straight look-up like the first two.

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