I have been the lucky winner of a creative block. For some time I have felt that my photography has been stagnating and getting decidedly boring. I know that I don’t stand alone. It is not uncommon for people to feel uninspired. To be honest, I am not sure where I lost my way. It dawned on me the other day that I need to get my act together, find my ‘mojo’, and get back on track.
This got me looking back through some of my very first images. You know when you buy that expensive camera because you think that your images will be awesome? And in the end, some end up being really terrible, but some turn out really, well, awesome? This got me thinking about how I knew nothing technical and was still trying to wrap my head around ISO, aperture, shutter speed and the relationships between them. I looked at one of my old images and remembered the exact feeling I had when I discovered what my lens could do. One thing I was told was, “You should never blame your rubbish photography on your lens.” It was then that I decided to see what that standard 18mm-55mm F3.5 could do. And it could do some awesome things. The image mentioned now forms part of my portfolio. And that lens remains a favourite for me. Sadly, it’s been forgotten.
I think that part of my problem is that I wanted to get too technical. I believe that this technical desire started to distract me from my creative nature. In my quest to create technically sound images, they started to lack creativity. While I am not saying that you should not get technical, there does need to be a balance. This may not ring true for everyone, but it seems true for me. I have never used ‘Auto’ and you will very seldom find my Camera set to ‘P’, or any of those pre-defined settings. I just don’t believe you pay that kind of money to use your camera the same way you would an R800 compact camera. Be that as it may, I used to worry less about the “nitty gritty” technicalities and used to focus on creating a ‘unique to my own style’ image. Lately, I don’t know what that is. There are so many ways to get inspired; for example: the article on themes. As great as these are however, not even they have helped. I have attempted a ‘Project 366’ to get one interesting image a day. I have thought about location, lighting and objects, but nothing is coming to mind. As wonderful as all the articles to inspire are, they have proved fruitless in my quest for creativity. Looking at other people’s images can also lead one to create the same kind of images. I don’t believe in that either. I am starting to sound more and more difficult as I write this, aren’t I?
My plan is to resurrect my photobook ideas. I do need to get out more to get them on track. There was a time when I was bursting with passion for these projects and they started to drag their feet. Next on the list is to explore each lens by giving them all equal opportunity to show me what they are made of. The ‘Nifty Fifty’ is going back in the bag for some down time. It has been overdone and is now boring. So moving on… I am going to explore more with my son on his level. When you spend time at a child’s eye level, you find so many things you don’t see when you are standing up properly. I am not tall, but I still miss many interesting things that are a little closer to the ground than my head is. I am going to forget the rules of thirds and the rules of exposure and I am going to go crazy. I may be shot for this comment, but I will just fix everything in photoshop! Maybe I’ll go overboard with photoshop and see what creative wonders I can produce (Or maybe not).
I am interested to hear what other creatives experience and how they get back on track to creating amazing images. Tips are always welcome, even if all the tips I have read so far have not worked out for me. Someone may have a gem just waiting for me to try.
Until then, Happy snapping.