Developing your creative eye

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With millions of images uploaded to social media and photo sharing sites everyday, you would want at least your images to be original and expressive of your style or vision. You want to produce creative images that will not only get the attention of your audience but also satisfy yourself. To do that you have to find and develop that “creative eye.” Here’s how:

1. Observe

Observation is always the first step before you ever frame your subject, compose your shot or press the shutter. Our eyes are precise machines that take in 260 degrees of horizontal field of view including peripheral vision, at 120 megapixels of high-def resolution. We have the power and facility to observe. The problem is that we are easily distracted. We fail to focus. Hence, we miss details, we miss decisive moments, we miss the light, the lines and other photographic opportunities and elements that would have otherwise made for an interesting image. Learn to hold still and concentrate on your surroundings. Being visually aware is one of the attributes of creative photographers.

2. Practice

It may be a cliche, and practice may not lead to perfection. Yet anyone will tell you that taking time to practice will help you develop your craft. Experts will always say take lots of pictures. We are now not limited to a maximum of 36 exposures in a film roll. Shoot to your heart’s content as much as your memory card can allow. Practice with your shots and practice with your camera. Do not be satisfied with snapshots, everyone is doing it. Aim for photographs of value. Bring out the artist in you, for as you do, creativity will follow.

3. Experiment

Explore your camera’s built-in shooting modes and creative filters. Take panoramic, landscape, portrait, normal shots and those with different aspect ratios. Crop in-cam, zoom, close in, fill the frame, go wide, compose, pan, frame your subject. Get that tripod and go for long exposures or low-light conditions. Attempt to learn, to probe and to understand. What you can do in photography will only be limited by your imagination.

Having a creative eye sometimes come naturally to some people. Others struggle to create compelling images. But always it can be developed. You know the approach and have the means and tools in your hands. Be patient and keep on clicking!

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4 responses

  1. You’ve rightly placed observation as no.1 in the hierarchy. The subject might be the same but images are what we make of it. Often I’ve been surprised at how top notch photographers have seen things so differently. And in today’s age of digital over crowding, being different is definitely required.

    June 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Hi Vibha! In this post I wrote back in 2013 https://junsjazzimages.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/first-code-observe/#comments, I said that the first code of photographers is to observe, which was true then and more so now in this age of “digital over crowding” (I like how you coin this term 🙂 ) Being keen and observant puts you in a position to notice, to focus on interesting subjects and situations. That’s one way to find and train our creative eye. Thanks always!

      June 25, 2015 at 12:56 am

  2. Jay

    I sometimes buy lenses and filters but then lose my nerve and stick with the same old. I need to experiment more and figure out what I can do.

    June 25, 2015 at 2:20 am

    • Junsjazz

      Haha…that happened to me too. Though I have three other lenses, I still preferred the original one that came with the camera. That was early on when I didn’t experiment and discovered there can be more ways to create images by using lenses with different focal lengths. Thanks for your thoughts Jay!

      June 25, 2015 at 8:10 am

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