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:
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.
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.
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!
The camera is an engineer, not a poet.~Joe McNally
Removing color from a photograph can add a lot to it; it can reveal details that would otherwise go unnoticed. Color, in some cases, may obscure the texture and form of the subjects, while black and white emphasizes the structure of the composition.
There are many ways in which the different colors turn into different grays, meaning that you can experience great light and dark richness when using black and white nature photography. While color may emphasize the shape of a subject, its black and white version may add a lot of character and feeling by highlighting its texture.
In black and white photography, the absence of light is as important as its presence. The profound shadows add depth and strength to an image. Photographers know how different colors, and lighting, react, and they use this knowledge to create impacting black and whites that deeply arouse, shock, inspire or relax.
~Byron Jorjorian from his article When Black and White Nature Photography Lights Up a Space
Oh don’t be! As I said before its not the camera but who is behind the camera. A camera is just a tool, what goes into it is largely dependent on the one who clicks the shutter. Admittedly, the lowly P&S cams have less features and options compared to expensive DSLRs. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take great pictures. Understanding the limitations and maximizing what your P&S cam can do plus your knowledge of composition and other essentials (been tackling them in my earlier posts) will go a long way in ensuring you take great photos. Self-taught photographer Max Edin itemizes the shortcomings of P&S cams and how to overcome them in his enlightening article How to Take Better Pictures with Your Point-and-Shoot Camera. You may graduate to a DSLR in the future, but if what you have now is a P&S cam then take heart, it can capture images better than you think. You just need to know how to do it. By the way, I took the above photo with a 5-megapixel Canon S2-IS, a point-and-shoot camera. (Photo location: Waterfalls at Loboc River, Bohol province)