Sunday, November 08, 2009

Boost creativity by focusing on a single idea

Here's some high level advice which will strengthen your photography and boost your creativity. There are so many things to keep in mind when you take photographs. To help you I've tried to distill the essential elements. If you keep four things in mind all the rest should fall into place. And these four elements come from just two things: creativity and execution.

Before discussing creativity, let's take a look at execution; visualizing your image and then making it happen. The three things you need to keep in mind are: light, composition and colour (LCC). I include grey values under colour here although black and white are not scientifically speaking colours.

In most circumstances photographers are reacting to what they see in front of them. You can't run through a mental checklist of hundreds of items before taking an image. So just keep LCC in mind. Simple right? How you execute the image - shutter speed, aperture, point of view, use of flash etc will all be determined by your LCC evaluation. This is an easy to remember and fast 'flight' check before making any image.

Brilliant execution means nothing without creative content. The secret of making a powerful photograph is to keep it simple. How do you do that? In essence you should distill your creative ideas down to a single word, which captures the concept or idea you are trying to communicate. You have to then make the execution of your photograph fit that one word. If you're a commercial photographer taking an advertising image you will need to understand the essence of the brand. What one word would sum it up? Found it. Right, now may your image fit that word.

If you're a portrait photographer and you're photographing a designer like Philip Starck, then your image should shout creativity. On the other hand if you're photographing a head of state the image could be the embodiment of authority. Shooting a caricature with a fish eye lens from under his nose is probably not the best idea, albeit creative. You see where I'm going with this. Building your message around a single word is an enormously powerful approach. Just think of how Obama used the word change throughout his campaign.

Having that single word in your mind when you take an image will ensure your creative focus is as sharp as your lens focus.

Words and images are symbiotic. One enhances and helps the other. Using words as a creative tool for making images is an easy technique and combined with your LCC evaluation will boost your creativity and strengthen your photography.

If you have any questions please get in touch.

Till soon,

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