Everyone wants to be able to create a beautiful image. Creative photography is a buzz word across the internet at the moment. People want to be more creative and learn to shoot images as seen in books and glossy travel magazines. Here’s how you can become more creative.
There is a difference between creatively and showing good technique in your images. A creative photographer uses all the principles and rules to their advantage but doesn’t rely on them for the final image. The dictionary definition of creativity is, “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination”.
So how does one learn to become more creative? I say this because all of us are creative, some just more than others.
1. Look for inspiration
What inspires you in life? Flowers, wildlife, abstract, people or landscapes? If it’s flowers then look at flowers. In your garden, on websites or books and magazines. If you are going create images from the things that inspire you then study them from different aspects, angles and perspectives. Get to know your subject. Without a good knowledge of your subject you won’t understand the best angles or features.
2. Take you time
Time, we all need more of it, but, if you take enough time with your photography you will reach the levels of creativity you desire. Have you ever heard of an artist or musician (speed painters excluded) who sits down and starts to paint at high speed? They take their time and ponder over what they are going to create. Sit down and observe your subject or scene. What parts do you want to focus on and bring out. What angles look better than others? Taking the time to get to know your subject will always increase your creativity.
3. Shoot frequently
You cannot expect to become more creative if you don’t take photos frequently. Regular photo taking will increase your creativity automatically. The bottom line here is to practise. You cannot increase ability if you don’t practice your art. You may as well stop reading this article if don’t determine that you’ll shoot more frequently. Here’s a little exercise to get you disciplined. Shoot a photo a day for 365 days. You can take on scene or area and shoot or shoot something different every day. Don’t let this replace regular photo shoots and outings. You’ll still need these.
4. Shoot intensely
What I mean by this is to take a subject and explore every possible shot you can think. Here’s another exercise that will help. Take an object, which could be a table fork or a soft toy and explore it photographically from every angle possible and then shoot it 100 times. The challenge is to take 100 different images of the same subject. Before you say, “no way”, try it. It is very possible. Change the settings on your camera, focus on different points of the object and look at new angles. The more you take the more you’ll need to think and come up with creative alternatives.
5. Learn to apply the rules of good composition
Once you have shot your images, evaluate them. Are they balanced? Have you excluded clutter? Are you close enough? Could you have chosen a better angle? Get yourself a good book or article on composition. Most photographers fail to evaluate what they are doing and often leave it up to others. Looking at your images with a critical eye will help you evaluate whether the image that was in your mind was transferred to your sensor and a great image recorded. If it wasn’t then shoot it again. How can you improve the image the next time? Get friends to give their input. Taking a course or reading a book on basic photography will help you learn the basic rules. They support creativity and showcase your ability.
Creativity is not something only some people are born with. How it’s developed and nurtured is the important issue. By focusing on these five steps you will learn to be more creative and produce stunning images you never thought possible. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Happy shooting!