Creativity

Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
59
Location
Waterloo
How does everyone figure out what to photograph and when?

It's a beautiful summer day here in suburbia and I was out for a bit with my D70. Took a few photos - but nothing really 'clicked' and I never felt like I'd taken a keeper.

Is it simple because I'm new to using the camera and I'm not sure that my technical approach is correct? I'm curious...

I'm not expecting miracles - I just want to know how everyone else gets over it.

PS. According to Freeman Patterson's book Learning to see Creatively it would be good to block some time apart for photography, relaxing, and then going out... Has that actually worked for the Cafe members?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Messages
330
My approach...

shoot until either...
a]the battery wears out (good luck with Nikon systems)
or
d]the CF is full

then sort 'em later

You'll be surprised at what cool shots you can get.

Ah, the wonders of digital.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,105
Location
Los Angeles, USA
That's the problem...you're in suburbia. There's no culture around track housing, malls and Olive Garden in every corner. Go on a day trip somewhere with more culture, texture and individuality and you'll be surprised at the photo ops! :)

PS-You don't learn creativity...it's something you feel. Any book that makes such a claim is a farce!
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
909
Location
Fayetteville, TN
If you suffer from a lack of creation (as I do) Keep shooting. sometimes you just get lucky (another advantage of the 4 gig cards). Spend some time on one scene. different angles, exposures compositions. You will be surprised that you actually will start to "see" things differently. review what you took and make mental notes of what you like and improve on it.

And lastly...visit here often as there are many talented folks here. Don't be afraid to post a couple of what you feel are your best. I think you will find folks here will offer constructive advice. (you have to have a bit of thick skin and courage just to ask.) and take it for what it is. advice, not criticism.

Welcome.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
2,868
Location
Sudbury, Massachusetts
When I get in a funk, I give myself an assignment. Lately I've been taking one lens to my daughter's soccer game and trying to come up with interesting photos. It wasn't too tough with the teles, but I brought the 12-24 today and it was tough. But it did get me thinking.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
1,027
Location
Annandale, VA
georgeal said:
How does everyone figure out what to photograph and when?

Thanks!
Here's one thing you can do. When you choose an object, even if it is a pretty flower..make an effort NOT to put it exactly in the center. For example, take an entrance to a building. See if you can arrange it off center and combine it with something interesting, whether an object, or another angle.....just DON'T drop any of your next week's pictures smack dab in the center.

Once I started doing that all sorts of other ideas came to mind.

Rich
 
M

Mike Field

Guest
Allan

Great question, probably one that we should all ask all the time. I believe Jonathan is right when he says creativity is felt not so much learned. I believe you can learn to develop skills that will help express your creativity, like camera skills, photoshop skills, printing skills, etc. But to also differ with Jonathan I think you can get the feel from suburbia (as in street photography or sports or whatever) or just about anywhere else. I get almost all my inspirations from being in the mountains or those types of environments, probably from childhood memories. It was also said to shoot shoot and shoot some more, I think that exposes you to different subjects and you will develop a feeling for something along the way and you will also start seeing things differently (I think better). It has been a very fun and exciting journey for me, one that I believe is still at the beginning. I am looking forward to others thoughts.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
59
Location
Waterloo
Jonathan - you're right, suburbia doesn't offer much in the way of "Wow!" moments.

But at the same time, it's not always possible to make it out somewhere "interesting". I've always been intrigued by the people who're able to take something normal and turn it into something unique.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
I usually am motivated by something. When not I don't shoot.

Carry the camera with me all the time, even to the grocery store. To work. Just never know. I have fun with PJ stuff.

I go to the zoo alot here locally. Sunrieses and sunsets are easy and are always pleasing. Just don't shoot the blow out.

Watch the formations of clouds.. I see many animal shapes...lol

Sometimes I just want to go shooting with nothing in mind and thats what I come with... Nothing.

I love the outdoors, trees, flowers, birds, animals, skys.

I live in a cement jungle gheto. Nothing to shoot and depressing.

I Gotta get in the car and gooooo somewhere.

You will find your nitch.

Just keep a shoooooootin.
 
J

jkamphof

Guest
Usually I find either shooting nature or macro stuff gets my creativity going. Usually even in the suburbs you can find birds and other life, and indoors there is lots to photograph. Make a little "studio" and shoot water, feathers, textured paper, flowers, whatever. If it's small there is a world of things you can do.

Ulitmately have fun and never watch the clock! And if all your shaots are pooped (like mine somedays) think of it as not a waste but good fun!


Joel
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
1,709
Location
Macon, Ga.
Allen, I've been shooting for over 40 years now and every so often I go through a 'phase', a period.. that I don't like anything I shoot. As a matter of fact, I'm in one now and it has lasted for about 2 months. Not to get you discouraged, I'm used to these times. :) In my case, I usually have to do something new, go someplace different... sweep out the cobwebs, so to speak. Start working on some new cobwebs. I think the others are right to a degree, surburbia is a tough shoot... in a way. The argument could also be made that a good, creative photographer would be able to do suburbia in a new and different light. Every day.
I live in, what used to be, the country.. and I've found that I sometimes have to go to suburbia to get rejuvenated, see things I'm not used to seeing. Things that the suburbian photographer passes every day and takes for granted.
Tell you what. I'll come in for a while and you come out.. :)
The bigggest thing is to hang in there and keep trying. It will pass.
Jarrell
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
1,901
Location
Montreal Quebec Canada
Hi Allen,

Freeman Patterson's techniques work for me. I'm a fan of his teachings. When I'm bored not having anything to shoot, I pratice one of his exercices: get a hoop, close the eyes, throw the hoop randomly and after relaxing, study thoroughly the area delimited by the hoop. It is quite atonishing that often, we overlook interesting things around us, things that are worthy to photograph.

Regards.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
6,099
Location
Denver, CO
I'm not at the same caliber as most here, but I find that a scene or subject asks me to capture it. Sometimes I get in the "zone" and everything seems to beg to be captured. Then there will be days go by that I don't fire a single shot. At that time I will try something new. Like doing macro work with flashes or on the dinning room table under low light. Next time I may try bugs, or birds, who knows.

A change in your routine can get you going again.
 
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
273
Location
Reno, NV
I find that looking at the work of others really helps to give me ideas on thinking out of the box. Try looking at Photot.net and see if this helps.If that doesn't help get a macro and photogragh the small, that never ceases to amaze me.
 
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
503
Location
Salida, Colorado
Keep looking with an open mind and
your eyes tuned to look for the unusual.

I travel by auto a lot and find something new to shoot
on each trip. So maybe a change of scenery helps.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
35,168
Location
Arizona
Real Name
Chris
Yep - I get the Block occasionally. When I do, I usually make a bunch of photos of my cat, feet, things on my desk, anything. These pictures never see the light of day - I just take 'em to keep the physical process of shooting going.

I have found two sure-fire cures to the Block. One is new equipment and the other is a paying job. New equipment (even if it's something small like a strap or lens shade) lets me rationalize personal shooting under the guise of 'testing it out'.

A job gets me shooting because - well hey - I have to, to do the job.
 
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
461
Location
Tampa, FL
Keep Shooting

I agree with the basic recommendations here - keep shooting. You are shooting digital so it doesn't cost anything more to fill the CF card up.

After downloading - try to select about 4 or 5 pictures that are the best of the lot, then try to take these few pictures and crop, rotate, etc. Some of my favorite pictures are ones that I "salavaged' from my days shooting.

I also try to set aside at least one Saturday morning per month where I go shooting. I usually have no idea where I am going to end up but I try to shoot all my CF cards worth. Then I get to come home. I have ended up discovering many local parks, and have ended up down town just walking and shooting.

Amazing how refreshed you feel after a morning workout- and the pictures start to come as you see yourself saying - why didn't I do...


Hope this helps....
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
1,728
Location
Tennessee
Don't be afraid to shoot yourself out of a slump, it worked for Micheal Jordan :lol:

When I feel like I'm in a rut, that's when I grab the 50mm and go out with just that lens and see what I can do.
 

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