Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by chalkdust, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 25, 2015
    Real Name:
    Bert Cheney
    I have been going out shooting recently with no goal in mind. Not surprisingly, I seem to be reaching my goal each time with ease. My recent images are all bland.

    So I have some creativity questions. What is the early part of your creative process? How well defined is your vision, normally, when you out hunting for that great image? What standards do you seek in the view finder before you release the shutter?
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  2. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Real Name:
    I'm not really sure I understand your question (my English are not that good I guess :D so sorry in advance if what I'm writing is totally irrelevant), but it sounds to me that you are looking for inspiration.

    I like to shoot landscapes/seascapes so what makes me press the shutter button is that something that insires me/catches me eye: a beautiful sunset, dramatic skies/clouds, a nice element in the sea or just the excitement I get when visiting photographically a new location. Whenever I visit a new location, I try to find that something different.
    Whenever I forced myself to press the shutter and basically shoot left and right, usually nothing good comes out of it...
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  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    Ad Dieleman
    I have tried several approaches to get to images I value. One approach seems to be the Project: define a project like artists seem to do. I see that it's working for some of them, but for me it doesn't. Just going out with a camera hoping to return with nice images mostly doesn't work for me either, I usually return home either without having taken out the camera out of its bag or with images that are deleted from the hard drive the next day.

    Whenever the sun is shining fiercely and the sky is really blue (rare at my place), I can hardly keep myself from grabbing a camera and going out so obviously that's inspiring. Or when I see the weather forecast predicting fog and frost. These are personal things of course, the trick is to find out what gets you going. What pictures do you dream of that you'd be proud to show to other people? Beautiful landscapes? Portraits like the ones of Richard Avedon? New York bridges à la Westokid here? Etc. etc. What makes you press the shutter button? Then press it and after that ask yourself why you pressed it. There was a reason, explore it and maybe you'll continue with other viewpoints, approaches whatever. Like Scott Kelby says: explore the scene!

    And then again I have lots of bleak periods in which nothing seems to trigger me to grab a camera. I don't have to earn money with photography so the A7 stays in the bag just eating the battery :) unless I score another Minolta lens that has to be featured in my collection galleries.
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  4. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Real Name:
    If I'm in a "funk" I will look towards the mundane or common subjects to get me out. Specifically, I will find a simple object or objects to use as a subject (chair,book,box,flower,pair of glasses, etc.) and focus on that for a series of shots. I then try to be creative with lighting, angle, aperture, shutter speed, etc. Sometimes I'll break out the tripod or break out a lens I haven't used in awhile (even if it's not the most ideal for the situation). It forces me to look at things differently and usually within a day or two I get inspired to approach a more "grand" subject but with a different approach.
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  5. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 25, 2015
    Real Name:
    Bert Cheney
    Nick, your English caught my question perfectly. Thanks. I do not seem to be going to new places very much. That is a good clue.

    Ad, "what gets me going?" is an excellent question. I need to dig a bit deeper.

    Chris, your purposeful first step sounds like a great idea. Let the journey happen later, but make a decisive first step now.

    These are all very helpful.

    Any other ideas or views on this topic will be appreciated.
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    DYNOBOB TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 9, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Thinking out loud..

    - My photo habits/results seem to center around travel or testing new equipment. Maybe buy a cheap legacy lens and spin it for a new one regularly. Travel to the park in the next town over that you've never seen.
    - Do something random like carry a lightweight chair (Helinox) and shoot everything sitting down?
    - Start a project.. every covered bridge or library in your county.
    - Remember to enjoy the process, not just the results.
    - F8 and be there for the win!

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  7. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2011
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  8. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    May 3, 2012
    somewhere betwixt here and now
    Real Name:
    A little self-inquiry is all it takes sometimes. Just some examples ...
    What makes me want to take or make images at all?
    What do I want to achieve - express - communicate - document - create - explore - find out - realize - ... - this way?
    Why ??? (the meanest of all questions :D)
    What do I really want (instead)?
    Is there no better way to get it or spend my precious time and resources?

    Happy diggin' - looking forward to some of your insights.
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  9. Kendall

    Kendall TalkEmount Rookie

    Feb 29, 2016
    It's interesting how everyone approaches this issue differently. For me I'm inspired by reading or looking at others art. My current issue has been simply forcing myself to take more photos. I've recently come back to digital from Large Format 4x5 Black and White film. Every time I pressed the shutter release with that camera it cost me about $3. That camera forced me to really consider my framing, lighting, etc but at times has limited me when it comes to digital shooting. I also shoot some video for work and I find it very difficult to jump between shooting video and photography. The processes are just so different for me.
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  10. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 25, 2015
    Real Name:
    Bert Cheney
    Thanks everyone. I figured there would be wide variety in approaches to creativity. The ones that are resonating most with me are, "pick a project", "pick a lens", "start with something simple and available". They have not yet become conscious or realized, but I can tell some ideas are simmering on my brain's "back burner."

    Granddaughters came for an unexpected visit yesterday, so I slapped on the Sonnar 55mm, set it on autofocus, and was encouraged by the results.

    thanks again.

    --If there are more good suggestions, feel free to post them here. There is no need to close a thread about creativity. :)