June 23, 2021

Explore your creativity

Do something different, and you might get a boost to your creativity.

The famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein is that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. I was reminded of that over the weekend, although I am definitely not insane! I’ve run my Switch to Manual Workshops over 300 times, and I have developed a route that works, giving a balance of well-known views and hidden gems. However, on Sunday, the Scottish Parliament forced me to make a small change to the route. Some works at the back of the Parliament building caused me to divert up and down the steps at Dynamic Earth and gave the group a different and creative view of the Enric Miralles designed structure.

Don’t get stuck in a rut

The experience over the weekend caused me to reflect on how to think about photography. I am sure that we all have our favourite locations. I love seeing the different conditions at the Forth Bridges or Cramond Island. The breakwater at St Monan’s, the starting point for the Landscape & Seascape Workshop, is another go-to location. I could turn up day after day and take lovely photographs of all these locations, but the question is, would it be creative?

Why not try taking your camera with you this week and take a different route than you usually would? Be slightly more aware of your surroundings and consider what new opportunities there are to take a photograph you haven’t done before.

Use a different lens

It’s not only the places that we go to that can drag us into doing the same thing, time after time. It’s also the gear we use. My 24-105mm lens is my walk-around lens of choice. It has an excellent range that can keep the weight off my shoulders when I am running my workshop. However, it will also limit the pictures I take and force me down a route of shooting in a certain way. While you are out and about in places you know, try heading out with a different lens attached to your camera. Forcing yourself to ‘see’ differently will change how you position yourself and hopefully provide a creativity boost to your photography.

Explore a different subject

One of the questions I often get is what kind of photography I prefer to do. It’s such a tricky question as I usually enjoy the photography I am doing at the time. In the past couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to photograph puffins, shoot landscapes in St Andrews, photograph an author and take pictures at a sporting event. All very different types of photography and some not the ‘usual’ kind of work that I would do. In all cases, I got a real buzz from switching the way I’m thinking and feeling a sense of creativity by shooting differently.

I’d love to see how you take on this challenge to explore your creativity. Go out and shoot something new in a different way and come back and post your photos in the comments below.

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About the author

As well as running Edinburgh Photography Workshop, Rich Dyson is a professional photographer. His photographs are regularly used in newspapers such as The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He also had two solo exhibitions and featured in a members sponsored exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. You can see and buy his photography at richdysonphotography.com

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