September 11, 2019

5 ways to keep photography creative

Bad weather or photographers block doesn’t need to stop you from being creative.

We’ve all been there. Wake up in the morning and see the rain pouring. The last thing you want to do is head out to take photos. Whatever the weather conditions you can still keep the creative streak going by thinking differently. Here are five ways to keep shooting whatever the weather.

Create a creative challenge

A really simple way to keep shooting is to have a challenge. You can do a Google search for 365 days challenges. There are numerous pages that will give you 365 different things to shoot. The challenges can be technical or creative. They can be highly defined or purposely obtuse. You could create a simple spreadsheet and randomly pick out a topic whenever you’re lacking inspiration.

Subscribers to the Edinburgh Photography Workshop mailing list receive a monthly challenge in their newsletter. We post images to a Facebook group and the most popular entry becomes the header image for the next month. Why don’t you join up and join in?

Shoot with a prime lens

A really great way to get better at composition is to shoot on a prime lens. Prime’s don’t give you the option of zooming in and out to create a composition. As a result, they encourage you to move around a scene to get the best shot. On the odd day when I’m not working, I’ll often pop on a 50mm lens and get my creative composition mojo back.

Pretend you’re shooting film

Digital Cameras are great for new photographers. You get instant feedback on how you’re pictures are going to look. Memory cards are really cheap. It’s easy to take limitless photos until you get the right one.

Back in the old days of film photography, you only had 24 or 36 chances on each roll of film before you had to change it. If you didn’t process your own images, you then had the long wait for your pictures to come back from the chemists.

Why not try and be an old-time photographer and switch off the back of your camera so you can’t see your pictures as you take them. Limit yourself to taking just 36 images and shoot on manual. Every shot counts now so you’ll start to think about the creative composition and the technical aspects. Hopefully, you’ll see an improvement after doing this a few times.

Interact with other photographers

Photography can be one of those hobbies that you prefer to do alone. Taking your time waiting for the right light conditions isn’t always conducive to a family stroll. As a result, it’s quite easy to get into a rut if you don’t want to head out on your own. Finding other photographers with similar interests is a great way to see things differently and become more creative.

I’ve often found a different perspective on a much-visited scene during my Landscape & Seascape workshops just chatting to the attendees. Heading out with another photographer too is going to half your travel costs. More creativity for half the price!

Go and see exhibitions

You don’t always need to have a camera with you to improve your pictures. If you live in a  large city there is probably going to be a gallery you can visit. Take a walk around a gallery and you’ll see how other artists have composed images. Looking at some of the old masters is a brilliant way to see how artists used light.

It would be great to find out how you break the creative block. Leave your comments below. You can also sign up for the Edinburgh Photography Workshop monthly newsletter where you’ll get regular updates on interesting things happening in photography and some great tips. Sign up by clicking here.