Practical tips on how to become a more creative photographer.
1. Cross pollinate your interests
You’re not just a photographer. You’re probably also interested in other forms of art, like theater, dance, sculpture, painting, architecture, or even computer code.
Cross pollinate your interests.
For example, I’ve been studying cinematography (Akira Kurosawa is my favorite director)— and figuring out how to make better compositions in my photography, by adding layers, triangle compositions and depth.
If you want to make better portraits, study the portrait paintings from the Renaissance. Study Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, and observe how their subjects position their bodies. Where does the subject look? Is the eye of the subject centered? What direction is their shoulders? Do they tilt their heads?
Combine all your interests, and use that to find a novel approach in your photography.
2. Shoot like a child
Children are the most creative, because they have no rules, boundaries, or dogma which holds them back. They treat art like playing.
To be more creative in your photography, throw out any “rules” you might have learned over the years. Treat photography like playing, and shoot like a child.
3. Shoot from weird angles
Tilt your camera (Dutch angle) and shoot from unusual angles and perspectives.
Pretend like you were an ant — shoot with your camera on the ground.
Pretend like you’re an eagle, soaring high, looking down. Shoot from high perspectives looking down.
4. Add depth to your photos
Add a figure in the foreground, middle ground, and background. Shoot at f8-f16, and focus on whatever is furthest away in the background.
More depth will tell more of a visual story in your photos, and be more interesting for the viewer to look at.
5. Make photos that surprise and excite you
To be a more creative photographer, the most important person is to impress yourself.
Make photos that you like to look at. Experiment shooting with a flash, using slow shutter speeds and using blur, and make out of focus images.
To be a creative photographer is to go against the grain — do things that other photographers aren’t doing.
Above all, entertain yourself, and enjoy the process of making pictures. The more fun you have in your photographic process, the more joy and fun will also be communicated to your viewer.
The secret, be creative every day!
Make photos every day. Regardless of where you live, who you are, make photos. Make photos because you must.
To get feedback on your photos, post them to ERIC KIM FORUM.
HAVE FUN :)
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- May 2-5: KYOTO-UJI / Zen Creative Photography Experience
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