Think Outside the Box

Thinking outside the box. I got to thinking about this the other day when I thought about an interesting question. I don’t know where this originated by ten years ago is was in a movie with Bruce Willis called 16 Blocks. Here it is;

“You’re driving down the road in your car on a wild and stormy night. The weather is like a hurricane, with heavy rains, high winds, and lightning flashing constantly. While driving, you come across a partially-covered bus stop, and you can see three people waiting for a bus:
  • An old woman who looks as if she is about to die.

  • An old friend who once saved your life.

  • The perfect partner you have been dreaming about (your “soulmate”).

Knowing that you only have room for one passenger in your car (it’s a really small car), which one would you choose to offer a ride to? And why?”

Heaven & Earth - This is a five-frame stitched panoramic of Double Arch in Arches National Park.

This question poses an interesting premise upon which you can base an evening conversation with friends. But I’ll jump to the chase. Bruce Willis’ character had a wonderful response.

“I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the old woman to the hospital. Then I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams.”

I love people who can think outside the box. It seems to be a characteristic in those gifted with great creativity. A really right-brained kind of thinking. 

Admittedly I’m more of an in-the-box kind of guy but it’s nice to know that you can exercise the right side of your brain and develop your creativity. So, from time to time I’ll experience that spark. That out-of-the-box kind of feeling. 

Five frames used to create a stitched panoramic photograph of Double Arch. The bottom image is directly in front of me and slightly below. The top image is directly behind me level with the horizon. Over 180° from one end to the other. 

Some time ago I was sitting on a rock in the middle of Double Arch formation in Arches National Park. Now Arches is a great place for photography. Exposure is easy. A middle toned rock against a middle toned blue sky. But it challenges your creativity as you struggle to compose stunning images. 

As I sat there I looked around and realized that there was no way to fit all the formation into one shot. I didn’t have a fish-eye lens - and that’s not the look I was going after. I could stitch a panoramic but the formation was literally all around me. 

And then it struck me. I could do a panoramic shot - but instead of panning horizontally like 99% of every panoramic shot, I could stitch vertically. So, hand holding my camera, I set up a series of shots, starting with a shot directly in front and below me. I then proceeded to shoot a series of images, overlapping about 50%, up and over my head until I literally had the camera upside down and behind me. That’s over 180° vertically. 

When I got done stitching it I thought it looked really cool. To enter it in competition, I needed something to show scale so I popped in the image of a photographer. Had to do a little processing on her since she was actually in a sunny field of Bluebonnets in Texas.

I liked how it turned out and was very happy that it earned a Merit in IPC Print Competition. It would not have even existed had I not thought outside the box and tried something new.   

Learn to think outside the box. The best way is to just practice, practice, practice. Get out and shoot and the creativity will take over.