What do you do to spur creativity????

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by stradibarrius, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I am at a point where I feel that I have nothing to say photographically...Whay am I taking photos???
    I love the process of taking, developing and printing but the results are less than exciting!

    What do you do to spur a new vision, creativity or whatever you would like to call it?
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I've been in that kinda place for a few months now. I go through spaces where I don't even think about photography for a couple of weeks. But I think I have made about 30 photographs this year. And only about as many prints. It's just been slwo. Not beating myself up as usual about it, though. Just kind of a hiatus of sorts, I suppose. Still been active here, though. So I guess that's something.
     
  3. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    Ooooooow, tricky one. Have you thought to "Ask Chris" in The Lounge?

    Slightly more seriously, Motivation and creativity are elusive beasts to pin down but....... do you have something that interests you (outside of photography)? Sometimes, photographing a subject - be it cars, people, architecture - that is of inherent interest is useful as then you might be photographing to illustrate a point or "thing" about the subject. That can then be the reason for taking a photograph.

    Alternately, choose something that "challenges" you. Don't like people? Shoot a set of portraits. Bored by landscapes, shoot a set of them - this might then "force" you to identify why that particular picture is woth taking or showing to people.

    Failing all that, do you need to be saying something with your photos? Although we might like to believe that our artistic endeavours are adding to the creative world often this just doesn't happen. Just enjoy the fact that you are, go with the flow and if the "record" shots are going to have meaning perhpas the meaning will evolve without being forced.
     
  4. Nadine Erdmann

    Nadine Erdmann Member

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    *subscribe*

    i want a vision, too. it is like... i do this and that. but what i would want is some kind of a project to work on. something that gets me going.
    i actually even consulted some random word generator (it's true!) to give me inspiration through uncommon words. i collected some and will see if that takes me somewhere.
     
  5. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Trying giving yourself some mini-photo assignments.
     
  6. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    There are different things I do. Go for a long walk. Go somewhere I never been (and it doesn't mean I have to go far - there's always some spot even in the neighbourhood I haven't seen yet). Get up really early to see if there is something to photograph. Or late at night. Make a pie and do some food photography.

    Sometimes I set up some assignments or limitations (a certain process or having to do a roll of film with one f/stop). If it's really bad, I go outside without a camera. And well ... by gosh darn if that isn't a dwarf riding on a unicorn over there? And I've no camera! :D
     
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  7. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I had a Unicorn pass me the other day and I missed the shot!!!!

    Maybe I should try shooting some color film??? I always shot B&W maybe if I try looking at the world in color?
     
  8. njkphoto

    njkphoto Member

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    In my personal opinion and talking from experience on this I have found that when I go through times with no vision, most of the time this is related to something else going on in my life through an emotional route or something similar. I try to use that as a force to make me go out and take pictures and connect with my emotions. I think we photographers sometime spend the time thinking to much and wondering an by ourselves fall into a "creative vision wall". David Gahan, (depeche mode lead singer/I LOVE the band) was telling in an interview that one time he told on of his friends that he is suffering about life, creativity, emotions, etc..His friend turned to him and said: Dave, I believe you are suffering, but, suffer well! He made a song called "Suffer Well" worth checking out... In my eyes everything is a vision.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Experiment with printing.
     
  10. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Ditto on the challenges, limitations and assignments. The "photo-a-day" challenge is a good place to start. It gives you a reason to get out of bed... a reason to try harder. Don't accept excuses. I'm just about finished my year and am already making plans to extend well beyond Dec. 31. (Next year, I will broaden my mandate to either shoot, process or print every day.... I've already got enough negatives to keep me printing for several years)

    Attend galleries and shows. Think of the most inspiring images you have seen online or in a magazine or book... seeing that same image its original state will absolutely blow you away.

    Furthermore, meet with other film photographers... attend local APUG meets. If there aren't any, set some up. The Great Lakes Region is becoming so busy that people have to start picking and choosing which events to attend. Jeff and Eva Bannow's Detroit weekend that just wrapped up was very inspiring. I can't wait for the next opportunity to meet, shoot and share. If you thought you were alone, you are not. There are others out there who can either teach you or learn from you. In the end, everyone wins, so long as you don't give up.

    Don't chase magic bullets. Make the best work you can with the equipment and materials you have.

    Finally, (and this is in no way a criticism of APUG or any other forum) shoot more than you post. Avoid pissing matches regarding Exposure Indexes or the minutia of photo forumlae or the superiority of any lens, format, brand, etc. The energy spent participating in such games would be much better spent creating your next masterpiece.

    hm... I didn't know I felt so strongly about this. :D

    Cheers,
     
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  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I don't know. It either turns out good, or it doesn't. It's natural, IMO. It comes and goes, and can't be learned or encouraged one what or the other. If your photos are sucking, try drawing, maybe, or some other medium. Model building is one of my favorites.
     
  12. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Goes with the seasons I find. Winter is fairly grey and rainy here (as is Spring, Summer and Autumn for that matter) so I spend more time printing. When the sun comes out fairly regularly after April I'm fairly keen to start shooting more.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if you have nothing to say photographically,
    you have to try to figure out what exactly you want to say ...

    and if your printed images don't excite you .
    try to understand how they want to be printed.
    interpreting what you have on your film is almost as hard
    or harder than getting the image on the film ...
     
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  15. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    John, I was thinking when I saw that you had posted "he's gonna say something about getting a cup of coffee". How wrong I was. :smile: Toffle, you are right - no magic bullets. And post less, photograph more. Amen to that. 2F/2F - thanks for reminding me about model building. And Stradibarrius, who knows, maybe unicorns like colour?
     
  16. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Take some time to read the book "Art and Fear," by David Bayles and Ted Orland. If that doesn't inspire you to create art, nothing will.
     
  17. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    Drink.
     
  18. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    Skipping my meds for a couple days does it for me :wink:
     
  19. phirehouse

    phirehouse Subscriber

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    great post. i wonder this all the time. seems like i go to the same places expecting to photograph something different, (sometimes i do). i rotate through my gear and formats to help keep things interesting, but how nice would it be to just travel the world with your camera. i know the world's great locations have all been photographed before, (but not by me, as i wouldn't mind putting my spin on it one day). that being said, time is on our side as this hobby is something we should all be able to enjoy well into our golden years, as long as we can aquire the necessary materials, (film and chemicals). i have taken up riding my bicycle to stay in shape and almost always bring a camera with me. it is easier to stop and get a shot when you are not in traffic.
     
  20. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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    Look at other photographs. Look at other types of art. Look into your own heart. Look out at your world. Then ask yourself: What is your art about?
     
  21. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    There is a light that never goes out

    Second that! :cool:It's a great read. Actually I often find that when you feel blocked in one area of your life, then it often helps to go and do something completely different, like cooking or riding your bike, listening to some favourite tunes...etc:sleeping:
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    using a substances usually hinders creativity because it
    becomes a crutch, and afterwards, the work was not much better than without it ...

    the best way to spur creativity is to keep working,
    keep photographing ( even without film in the camera )
    keep printing .. eventually you will find yourself
    and find a way you like to translate what is on the film
    onto the paper.

    and not forgetting to have fun, usually helps too ...
     
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  23. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Drink wine.

    I constantly Am conscious of what's going on and how I see the world to realize it's how my clients and prospective clients see it.

    My vision may be not the same as yours but I try to make it the same as my clients. I believe a photographer has to have a good understanding of the basics of photographing people. If you don't understand or care about the basics then what do you rely on? Doin' your own thing? Or using a camera like a machine gun, I take lots maybe get a few they will like.

    I'm not so educated/opinionated as to think my view is correct or the only view. Beauty can be realized with different lenses, films, developers, papers as well as eyes and relationship between client & photographer.

    To spure creativity I open myself up to the world. Some don't like my results. I could care less long as clients like what I do.
     
  24. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    Advice - or What Do I Do?

    Plenty of advice up there.
    What do I actually do?
    1). Attend a weekend workshop or course that is of interest.
    2). Without any deadlines, set myself a project that could be turned into a series on my wall, a Blurb book or even an exhibition (although I'm too lazy for that). The benefit of this approach is that not every shot has to be a "winner" in a stand-alone sense. As long as it contributes to the whole, then it's OK.
     
  25. dehk

    dehk Member

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    You think too much. Have a drink and load up your camera.
     
  26. njkphoto

    njkphoto Member

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    Cheers:munch: You said it in a small sentence...