Exposed! Boosting Creativity!

His photos were beautiful but he was stuck. Our workshop student was frustrated that he had hit a plateau and couldn’t get beyond it…

The workshop student’s photos made beginners jealous – they were classic compositions – beautifully framed and well exposed. He had come on the workshop to get out of a rut.

In this edition of Exposed! we look at ways to:
• boost your creativity
• fuel new adventures in your artwork
• get out of your rut….

Below we explore ways to take your photography to a new level. Save them for a rainy creative day or implement them right now!

1 Take a break!
Some people are very hard on themselves. If things aren’t working well these people work harder… Sometimes, that does more harm than good. Burnout is a huge killer of creative energy. Take some time off!

2 Choose a different format
Try a completely different camera system – and I don’t mean Nikon vs Canon. Try a smartphone, a film camera, large format equipment, toy camera, panoramic, old processes – and invest time and energy in something very new.

large format camera
Last year I built an 8×10 camera and used it to tweak my photo passion.

3 Allow (and encourage) mistakes
Nobody likes mistakes.
But the disappointments can be the catalyst for great successes. And nobody has had great successes without experimentation and failure. Remember, successful people usually don’t promote their mistakes!

4 Daydream
It’s often shunned as a waste of time.
It’s not.

5 Explore a new style
Try something you’ve never done before. If you’ve always been an available light shooter try shooting with 2 or 3 strobes. If you’re a landscape shooter, try shooting wildlife or people. If everything is crisp, clean and ‘perfect’ in your viewfinder, shoot handheld at 1/15th of a second.

iPhone photography
Different styles (panning) on different equipment (iPhone) can lead to new perspectives!

6 Study the work of others that shoot differently
Want to get inspired? Visit some galleries & websites of prominent or rising artists and photographers – take workshops or go for coffee with these people. Explore their work and recognize what you admire and what you dislike.

Let other’s work influence your creativity… but do not copy.

7 Follow your passions
It’s amazing what you can achieve if you follow your heart!
“Surround yourself with supportive people,” a brave friend once told me.

At times, I’ve found myself creeping down roads that have taken me in wrong directions for wrong reasons. It’s a complicated world.

I’ve also had breakthroughs and found new passions as I have followed the tips above. Which leads us to:

Consider some of the tips, above, and follow what is right for you!

Final Frame
I sometimes wonder where the workshop photographer’s journey took him. I like to think he had a breakthrough…

Take photos.
Do something different.
Have fun.