Monday, 1 July 2013


A few years ago I was in London on a training. It was a hot summer day and I finished lunch and had time to spare before the training resumed. I decided to go outside and to take some photos and I still remember that snatched moment quite vividly.

More recently I have been wanting to write a regular post. My head has been spinning with ideas and none get started because it feels overwhelming.  So I had to smile the other day when I read a quote by Julia Cameron:

Most artists get blocked not because they have too few ideas, but because they have too many.

And on the same day, the idea came to me. And it had been there all the time, only because my head was so full, I had not seen it.  And I recalled that day in London, how excited I was, and how much I still love those photos and the memory it pulls. 

And if that wasn't enough, there was more synchronicity. That day I came across 2 videos.  And no! I was not doing a search!  They came to me through Facebook, posted by friends. Friends who did not know what was going through my mind as I had not spoken to them about my idea.

And after watching these videos I was even more sure that I want to have more fun with my camera and at the same time be challenged to improve my technique and creativity.  And so my plan is to take as many photos as I can within 5 minutes and then share 5. 

Here is what I plan:

1. Choose my location.
2. Have my camera ready.
3. Set my mobile timer for 5 minutes.
4. Take as many photos I can until the time is up.
5. Choose 5 photos to download and share. 

The emphasis is on having fun, as when I am feeling playful I can be more creative and connected with what I am doing. I work best when I am focused, I need a time frame, a challenge. That helps me to think outside the box, to push myself. This might mean:
  • Being challenged by light or lack of photo opportunity
  • Finding ways round this such as changing position or using something to improve light (a table lamp, white paper to reflect, or simply changing my own or camera angle). 
  • Taking photos of an object or area from different perspectives: zoom in, out, take from a distance, high, low, above, play with the focus, shadows and so on. 
Remember - the emphasis is on FUN!! 
So if you are someone who strives for perfection or a means to an end, this is also helpful.  Because sometimes we learn from experimenting and making mistakes. And by being spontaneous. Sometimes photos taken in this way have been my best.  Not for technicality but because I was totally absorbed in what I was doing and the experience left a positive imprint.  

I will be posting '5 in 5' on the 5th
 of each month, starting this week. 
I hope you will visit. 

And the invitation?  I'd love you to join me!  So if you are interested, pick a location, take your camera, set the timer and have fun shooting!!  It's not about quantity.  Aim for good photos
that inspire, stretch, or please you. And remember, you are looking just for 5 to share. If you have a short story that goes with your photos that would be good, but is not necessary. Sometimes a picture says it all.

I will be back on 5th, meanwhile, here is a link to the 2 videos I spoke about earlier.  Creativity takes Time is very short and it shows what you can achieve  when you have freedom to have fun. 

I found the first half of the next video especially interesting. Tim Brown had a great way of involving his audience and talks about how we need to break rules in order to bring play into our creativity. A must watch if you are interested in how we best think and develop ideas.

Finally, I spoke at the beginning of taking photos in London and how the experience has stayed with me. Here is the photos link if you want to find out more.  Thank you for staying with me to the end and I like to include a photo in my post so here is a collage using 5 of the photos I took in my garden today, using the 5 minute challenge.


Since posting I have been asked some good questions. Thank you Jo and Ruth.

Do the photos have to be taken or posted on the 5th?  The answer is no. 
Take your photos whenever inspiration or opportunity takes you.
And you can post your photos for that month anytime up to the 25th. I know from experience if I have too many deadlines I can not meet them all, so I would rather you take part than be under pressure or unable to.

So, just join in when you can and on 5th of each month I will post an invitation.

I am learning as I go along
and jumping in and finally getting started. 
It's time to let my ideas free and have some fun! 


  1. Great idea and I love the shots you have taken. Will have a real go to join you but busy day Friday x

    1. Thank you Jo - you prompted me to add a postscript.

  2. sounds good Sandie do we take the photos on the 5th or just share them on the 5th??

    1. Thank you Jemma - a very good question!
      I was going to give information in my post on the 5th but clearly more information would be helpful now. So you ALSO prompted me to add a postscript.

  3. This sounds like a lot of fun! And I loved the first of your videos in particular. I'm off to show it to Himself so he can show,it to his manager, as a reason for having enough time to develop things properly :).

  4. Love the idea Sandie, I will join in :) xxx

  5. This sounds like a great plan. When I took a photo a day for a 365 project last year I found an added benefit in having a stash of pictures I could tell stories about at the end..I think this project would be fantastic for this too.

  6. Great idea Sandie, perhaps we could go for a walk over the weekend and you can get some photo's in Bradfield, it has some great old buildings.

    1. That sounds a brilliant plan Kerry!
      I do not know Bradfield so I am excited already :)

  7. Count me in Sandie, sounds like a nice, achievable challenge to me :)


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