Learn Digital Photography - Increase Your Creativity in 5 Simple Steps

By: Wayne Turner | Posted: 06th May 2010

I don't think that there is one avid photographer who doesn't want to be a more creative photographer and improve their images. Most of the great magazine and book photos don't impress us because of their image quality or the expensive equipment used to take them. We admire them because they are great compositions taken by creative photographers.

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. The focus here is on the ability to create great images. All of us are creative just by the mere fact of pushing the shutter button. What we're trying to do is increase that creativity to new and higher levels.

Here are three steps to help you increase your creativity.

1. Think before you shoot

Simple advice but essential if you are to improve your creativity. Considering a composition before pushing the shutter button is vital. It's the disease of digital to shoot fast and without much thought. The creative photographer thinks first and shoots second. By thinking about what should be included or excluded and whether it's the right angle or close enough to the subject, will improve your image a hundredfold. Film photographers have always had to do this as it was too expensive not to think. So, take a few minutes extra to consider your image before pressing the button.

2. Use your feet

Many photographers shoot as if they are wearing lead boots, glued to the spot and straight in front of their subjects. By moving around and looking for different angles or viewpoints is going to increase your creativity dramatically. Getting up higher or lower than the level of your subject or moving to the left or right is going to change your viewpoint and thereby change your image. Learning to use different angles will increase the possibility of a more creative photo.

3. Shoot often

Taking photos once a week is never going to increase your creativity. You have to shoot frequently and be prepared to try new things. What frequent shooting does is help you practise your photography. The old adage says ‘practise makes perfect' and it does. By shooting often you get to know your camera as well as your strengths and weaknesses. No artist, sportsman or technician learns their art through infrequent practising. Carry your camera wherever you go and take the opportunities that arise. You don't have to travel far and a lot of your practising can take place at home or close by. The key is frequency.

4. Shoot quantity

One of the great things about digital is that you can shoot quantity at no extra cost. Try this little exercise. Take an object or subject and shoot it in 100 different ways. Sound difficult? It may be but I can assure you this will dramatically improve your photography. You may only find 78 different ways or perhaps only 51, but, you will find photos that are creative and interesting which you never dreamed of. If there are 50 possible ways to shoot a particular subject and 5 are really creative and you only take three shots, your chances of getting a really creative photo are greatly reduced. If you only use one point in this article, use this one as it will help your creativity the most.

5. Evaluate

Learning is a process and creativity is not excluded from this. Unless you carefully and critically evaluate your photos and compare them to the top photographers you are not going to see where you need to improve. Ask yourself the question, "What can I do to make this image great?" Then go out and try it again. You need to know what works for you.

Creativity is very subjective and each of us view it differently, BUT, it can easily be learned and with practise, achieved with success. It is not just limited to the artists and if you put these simple steps into practise you will find that you can dramatically improve your creativity.

So be prepared to try new ideas and methods to get those great shots that others have never thought of. It's inside you and you just need to find ways to draw it out.

You can learn more about photography in a digital world here in my free e-course delivered by e-mail. Subscribe HERE. Have a look at my new ebook, 21 Steps 2 Perfect Photos. Wayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography.
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Tags: imagination, images, few minutes, three steps, relationships, viewpoints, composition, viewpoint, angles, originality, image quality, right angle, boots, dictionary definition, compositions, shutter button