Here Are Some REAL Ways To Get Creative, Not Just Another Roundup Of “Tips”
Feel like your ideas just dried up like Death Valley in the summer?
Hmmm, this can be a problem. I feel your frustration. You just want your photo mojo back!
Cool Photography ideas, of course, is what I'm referring to today.
As photographers, we all want that injection of creativity every now and then. It helps us
- Develop our style,
- Learn new skills, and
- Think outside the box – after all, you only want to produce unique photos
There comes a time where you’ve probably found yourself wanting to explore some new aspects of photography, but you couldn't find an idea for anything extraordinary to do?
Fear not, that feeling is quite natural, and you shouldn't ignore it. Oftentimes your creative process just requires a little refreshment, and the best way to do so is by stimulating yourself by trying new things.
Photography is flexible, and that's the gift we have to work with each and every day, so there is always something new you can try out. The sheer amount of techniques available give you plenty of options. My observation is this:
Simply changing the way you do portraits probably won't satisfy that craving for something new.
Trying something completely different from what you are usually doing, on the other hand, will.
Some ideas to get you thinking and those engines rumbling!
1. Unique Vintage Lenses
What about them, you ask?
Trying out some vintage lenses can be loads of fun. Because vintage lenses create quite unique effects. Take the Petzval lens, or the Helios 85mm with the swirly bokeh.
You can also dip your fingers in anamorphic photography by using an anamorphic lens. All this will be challenging, and yet motivating at the same time. Mainly due to the fact that it is something new, but also because it looks quite awesome and different at the same time, you'll enjoy one of these, a lot!
Photo by Garrett
Besides stimulating your creative needs, and producing some quite extraordinary images, you are practicing manual focus, and training your creative mind to think outside the box.
Vintage lenses will limit you significantly since they are made for film and they will be hard to deal with under challenging light conditions. However, that's the idea, since you're pushing yourself and to me, that is always satisfying.
2. Try Out A New Genre
Comfort zones are meant to be broken. Whenever you get into a comfort zone in photography, you need to break it as soon as possible. Before you realize it, you're in a rut that you just don't want to be in but see no way out!
Trying out a new genre will help you develop as a photographer by either affirming your confidence in the genre you feel you are best at, or you’ll surprise yourself and find you're great at a totally different end of the photography spectrum.
For example, a Street Photographer might find out that she is also a great Astro Photographer, but that Car Photography just isn’t for her.
My point is that until you try out everything, you’ll never know what you're actually good at (or at least enjoy most).
3. Place Challenges And Restrictions
It's weird how challenges and restrictions work magic into satisfying your need for a change.
For example, challenge yourself to photograph with your lens stuck at 100mm (or a prime), but shoot landscapes during the challenge, for let's say two weeks.
You’ll see how under that set of restrictions, you’ll instantly learn to adapt, adjust, and overcome. You’ll start thinking outside the box (much like using vintage lenses) and start coming up with new creative solutions for the given set of problems.
Photo by Jonathan Pincas
The fun part is that after the challenge ends, you don’t go back to normal – instead, you are now used to another method. Now that you have many new ideas and techniques in your arsenal, your photography skills will no doubt skyrocket – I'm not exaggerating, they really will.
4. Try A Different Art Form (Or Combine Them)
This is something you may not have expected to read as a final tip? Taking a small break from photography, or combining photography with a different art form can prove great to your creative process.
For example, take on classical drawing or painting; sure, you might not be as good a painter as you are photographer, but on the other hand you will learn something that you would be able to apply in photography too.
- You’ll learn how to look at your subjects/scenes differently and maybe judge light/color better than with a camera.
- You will also unlock that “ideas section” of your creative mind that might enable you to apply those skills in photography.
Whether it is by manipulating light and color, or custom fabricating your own backgrounds and textures using paint, it gives you more options, and we photographers love options.
Photo by RumahKaia
The creative process that everybody has is a delicate thing, it needs tending, and it needs to be taken seriously. Whether you are aware you have it or not, it is there. If not stimulated, though, it won’t do you any good.
Trying out new things, challenging, and restricting yourself won’t do you any harm, at least not permanently.
It might be a tad frustrating to begin with (i.e. the challenges and restrictions) but you can learn a great deal from it, and I promise, it will benefit you in the long run.
Cool Photography Ideas To Get Creative – Top Takeaways
- Why go to all this trouble? Because of these three things: Develop our styles, learn new skills and think outside the box.
- Go and have a look around for some vintage lenses you can try out on your digital camera – trust me, this will be so different and alien, you'll think your safe and expensive zoom at home is genuinely missing you!
- The genre thing. Always doing portraits? Head out into the countryside. Love the hustle and bustle of the city streets? Try some still life.
- If you don't have a prime lens, don't worry, just lock your zoom to a fixed focal length for a couple of weeks and see how things go? Place some restrictions on yourself.
- Move away from photography completely for a while. Pick up a pad and some colors and paints – even some pottery, just something totally different!
- 7 Reasons Why Prime Lenses are Better Than Zoom Lenses to Improve Your Photography by Dzvonko Petrovski
- Classical Drawing Can (And Will) Improve Your Photography by Dzvonko Petrovski
- Cool Selfie Ideas Using Shadows You’ll Just Love by Bruce Lovelace
- Lost For Ideas? Transform Your Speedlight With These Awesome Ones by Dzvonko Petrovski
Thinking about Flash Photography?
This Guide: Headshots With Speedlights will haul your skills and knowledge into next week! We’re pretty certain of that and if you’re gonna buy a flash, understand how your headshots can stand out from the rest and “wow” your fans.