Creative photography is always a difficult term to explain, especially to the newbies. While some people would say all photography is creative in some way, we all know that the truth is that not all the snapshots we take actually have enough creativity put into them.
Unlike the technical aspect of photography which is more of science and mechanical fact, creativity is not as tangible or easy to learn.
Does that mean creativity cannot be developed or improved in photography? Of course not. Even though it is not easy to learn, that doesn’t mean it cannot be learned.
Every passionate photographer can learn creativity and I have highlighted some tips here to help you develop your creativity to the point that it becomes difficult for your audience to take just a glance at your photos.
Consciously put all effort into every shot
These days, it has become much easier to take great photos without even thinking–thanks to digital photography. With the camera placed on auto-mode, a well-exposed photograph can be taken by someone who has never touched a camera before.
However, to take creative pictures, it is very important you engage in some thinking. Don’t just press the shutter button. Before you press, always think about your scene. Every scene comes with several different elements you need to take note of before you compose and shoot your shot. It takes time and effort to learn how to identify these components in a scene, including light, movement, depth, texture, and color. However, before long, you will start seeing the world like a photographer that you are.
Photography is all about light
That is the truth! Photography is all about light. That is the reason you need to consider that component of your scene first. Take a look around to identify where exactly the light is coming from. Is the light warm or cool? How is it illuminating your subject? Is the light harsh or soft? What will happen if you consider changing your position – will it improve your view of how the light interacts with your subject or not?
Don’t only rely on the light meter on your camera. Even though it is designed to help read the lighting in a scene, remember it doesn’t have any sense of creativity. It merely sees things as either dark or bright.
Use slow shutter speeds
Think about it this way; if fast shutter speeds are used to freeze movement, what do you think slow shutter speed would do?
Slow shutter speeds can be used to create creative photos. Creative photography is all about seeing that you would not normally see. You can use slow shutter speed to capture blurs. Anything not moving in the scene will come out normally. It is only the things that move that will be blurred.
This is how you can pull this trick. Position your camera on a tripod or something solid and use a shutter speed of a good few seconds. Make sure you have chosen a subject where you actually have movements. Point the camera at your subject and press the shutter.
Fixed objects will come out sharply while every other thing that moves will be a blur. That’s real classic creativity.
Tell a story with your photography
Another way to be creative with your shots is to think about what you want your photos to say. Give it a story. The difference between a photo that is just pretty and the one people will pause for a few more seconds to look is whether it tells a story or not.
You have probably heard the saying that a photo speaks a thousand words. So, if your photo has nothing to say, it’s just going to be mute, and that makes it end up as just another pretty photo among the several millions of other photos.
Play with perspective
This is another really simple technique you should explore in creative photography. Play with perspective. You have probably also heard about the old ‘pushing back up the Tower of Pisa’ photo. So, get your creative cap on, and you will see yourself thinking of many ways you can utilize this concept.
Wondering what the concept is all about? It actually points to the fact that things in the foreground are basically larger than the ones on the background.
Carefully position your friend about 20 feet behind you to make him smaller and be in the background while you pose as though you are holding him. When the photo comes out, it will be as if you are holding a miniature of your friend. That is creativity using perspective, and the good part of it is that you don’t need any special equipment to pull it up. Just creativity!
Don’t run away from problems; creativity is problem-solving
If you will agree with me, photography is more of anticipating problems and solving them. From finding the right angle, to picking the right aperture, to identifying the perfect lighting conditions, to using a tripod when necessary, they are all problems you should embrace and learn from so you can be better prepared for the next one. Remember, problems are what make you get a paycheck!
Work around interesting angles
Again, as I have said earlier, creative photography is simply looking at something from a different perspective. Repeating patterns are usually great for this. Line up a set of repeating patterns, shoot them at a good angle, and you have just got yourself something creative. Don’t forget, creativity is looking at something from a slightly unusual way and that is just what playing around interesting angles offers.
Add drama to your photos with some lens flare
A great way to add drama and individuality to your photos is using some creative lens flare. Though we can say lens flare is typically an error, but a creative photographer will use it o add an ethereal, dreamlike effect to their photos.
You can either shoot into the sun, partially block your light source, shoot during golden hours or just create a lens flare in Photoshop. Just make sure you explore that creative part of photography.
I am sure the points I have highlighted in this article have got your creative photo juices flowing. So, get on your creative cap and do some creative shots!