When Ideas Fall Short

Posted on January 9, 2009. Filed under: Net Spy | Tags: , , , |

Photo contests are everywhere, you can’t keep an eye off from one and there’s another coming up like a mushroom. Each time a photo contest ends, another idea is revealed in the public. Thus, another cracking day or week of starting a new tactic for photographers.

Having lost your touch or having absolutely no idea what will you do in the next photo competition or for a client shoot due to tomorrow is really troublesome. Well I guess all imaginative people go through this dry season and its kind of natural to be out of your game sometimes. The important thing here is not allowing creative blahs get into your skin even deeper and set your mind blank. If you are currently under this spell, lucky you! I have some useful counter attacks that will be handy to reboot your mind.

Book of Ideas – I know some artists who have kept a secret book of inspiring images. They usually come as photos from photo competitions or a variations of captured moments with your loved ones, family or relatives. In the book you will also see written photographic ideas which were already done or soon to be experimented in case of a new picture contest comes out.

Today, we can utilize computers and some software to keep our work more organized. The idea here is flicking through your “photo diary” and search for something or anything that will break you loose from the blankness.

Magazine stands, hmmm maybe the library – This is a cool method to work around creative blahs. If you always go walking in the streets or going to malls, stopping by magazine stand and flipping through the pages of books and magazines can sometimes help you breakout if you see something interesting. Another variations is heading off to the public library. For me, going through classic works and photography’s history inspires me a lot. I also read about stories of how people accidentally shot a masterpiece without even realizing it and won a picture contest. Articles, magazines, the library.. by tracing this routine you will find yourself at your desk by the end of the day instead of wandering off somewhere else.

Travel – as Wayne Cosshall said “Sometimes all you need to do is go somewhere new. Holidays always seem to stimulate the photographic urge, but even in your own city or town there will be places where you have not shot. Go seek them out.” Indeed very true.. traveling helps you see new places, new interesting things to shoot. Of course, bring your camera before going out there.

Take pictures differently – If traveling is not possible why not try taking pictures in a different manner. Just grab your camera and turn your house into a subject and picture everything you find in the floor and in the ceiling. Shoot everything with flash or everything with the lens focused at two feet away. Try shooting at that 3200ISO setting you never use. You get the idea. If you normally go out shooting with a bag of lenses, pick one (ideally a single focal length lens) and go out only with that. This will trigger something new and somehow give yourself a problem to solve. Which one is better? which will be more effective to use for photography contests?

Creative blahs are part of becoming a photo artist and above else its a fact of life. Photography contests, traveling, book of ideas and doing crazy things with the camera are some of my breakouts from lack of ideas.. what’s yours?

To see how John Warton, senior photo editor at Photo Laureates reviews photographs and meet, go to www.thephotochallenge.com

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