On Creativity

Becoming a Dream

Becoming a Dream, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Creativity is very important to me, in photography and in life. I do not think that being creative is a “tame lion”: there are no rules about how to be creative. Creativity is fluid and wave-like; it is not rigid, mechanical, or about repetitive rules. The thing I think I do best in my workshops is help people become more creative photographers and artists, and in how they approach their work.

If you are interested in my views on creativity and photography, check out my eight-part series on Photo.net, Becoming a More Creative Photographer. Each article includes exercises you can use to help enhance your creativity. Here’s the wrap-up from the last article in the series:

Creativity is like a spiral, and the end of one phase should be the beginning of the next. There’s no reason you can’t go back to the beginning again, but this time starting a higher level. Join me in iterating the spiral process for becoming a more creative photographer. If you ever wake up in the morning feeling stuck, start with the assignments in Expecting the Unexpected and remember to:

  • Embrace serendipity by being prepared for the unexpected.
  • Focus on the essential elements of your chosen subjects.
  • Consider form and composition when you create photos.
  • Seek to reveal the previously unseen.
  • Use your time wisely when on a creative journey.
  • If you are creatively stuck, limit yourself; but be conscious of the ways in which you may be self-limiting without realizing it.

I wrote Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques from the perspective of using photographic composition as a stepping stone to visual creativity. This is not a book about the same, old rules of formal composition. It is an idea book intended to help you unleash your inner creative photographer, partly an idea book, and partly a meditation on composition in photography and creativity. My hope in writing the book was that it would provoke you to be your most creative, too.

About the image at the beginning of this story: I used four original captures blended in more than one hundred layers in Photoshop to create the image I call “Becoming a Dream.”

This entry was posted in Photography, Writing.

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