Wednesday, March 30, 2011

JUMP STARTING CREATIVITY AND CHIPPING AWAY AT YOUR CREATIVITY BLOCK

In the last few weeks, I have read a few blogs that speak to writers block. I am a photographer first, a writer a distant second but I do understand having that type of block. As a photographer a creativity block can be painful. One of the reasons I always talk about ABS, always be shooting, (see previous blog on subject) http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/02/b-salways-be-shooting-always-be.html is that it helps me fight that block. It acts as a jump start for my creativity, pushing me to look and see and stretch my creativity. It is not always a successful image, in the sense that anyone else will ever see it but it will help me out of a creative rut. Just the act of doing will help me forget my block and start thinking in a creative manner. It helps in one of my other outlets, too, my cooking,  I will just take out whatever I find in my refrigerator and put together a meal. Now I know better then to stretch my creativity too far in my cooking: after all someone will be eating it. A piece of snapper prepared in a sauce spiced with hot peppers, whip cream and strawberries will not make for a great supper or a happy wife!!

Many times at the start of a photographic day or night, I will shoot something, anything just to shake off the mental rust.


If we are in a hotel room, it is not unusual for Phyllis to wake up and find me in my robe photographing something from our window or balcony. I just need to wake my creative muscles and this works the best for me. Sometimes it is while were waiting for an elevator at the top of a parking garage





    
I see a blue sky and I automatically point my lens at something. I am trying to make an image out of elements that I know will work together: bright colors, great light and interesting lines. But the trick is not to just document but to be creative like taking just an angle of the building not the whole building. Hopefully, this creates something interesting if to no one else, at least to me: something that will get my creative muscle flexed and ready for action.

If I am waiting in a hotel lobby for a client, I put my camera to my eye and start looking for an image.



I'm looking for colors, interplay of shadows and interesting angles. I love saturated colors and will often look to them for my images. Will they all be great images? Nope. Most will never be seen by anyone other then Phyllis or myself.  What they will do is keep my eye sharp and my inner eyes exercised.



When the day is over and we are in a restaurant, do I stop stretching my creativity? No, although I suspect Phyllis would love me not be the nut that people are looking at and wondering, "Why is that guy taking a picture of the bar?"

Ok, now that we're on our way back to our room, and we have been photographing all day and evening, does it stop? What do you think?

This is the lobby on our floor. I thought the muted light, colors and patterns were interesting. Phyllis didn't even know I shot this. I can be quick lol.

So we are in our room and we're both tired from a long day. Phyllis is watching something on TV or reading. I am on the balcony again, looking at the night, with my camera: seeing the light, dark and colors.






Will any of these images ever be sold? I doubt it. I would not have used them other than in this post. That was never the point of taking them. It was a mixture of pushing my creativity and the fact that I really do see best through my lens. I would love to hear how others chip away at their creativity block.
I have told you my method. What is yours? Sharing our methods might help others with their blocks. You can turn your creativity block into learning blocks that can be a great foundation for your art. Let us know.

By the way, the next morning???

 STARTS ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!

16 comments:

Sailor said...

Beautiful pictures!

Aaron said...

Hey Jim,
Great post and some wonderful pictures as always.

I agree with your just keep shooting technique. For me I have used two different techniques.

When I am really struggling I start focusing on taking photos that are outside my comfort zone and I don't usually take. I don't always get the best shots but it awakens other parts of the creative mind.

Another fun game I like to play is just stop randomly and set a certain amount of steps I can take from that place. From there I challenge myself to try and find a photo within the set amount of steps. Again don't always get shareable photos but it really opens your eyes.

http://www.aaronoutward.com/2011/03/positivity-always-needs-some-passion.html

Ann said...

Great post. I agree about being a photographer 1st & being a writer comes in way down the line. I love taking photos, but rarely can come up with something clever to say about them!.
Love the cruise photo at the end!

alejandro guzman said...

Oh to have a camera!

Brilliant shots. Love contrasting colours that compliment

A

Mitzi said...

OOOOOH my favorites are the night streets! Though I love architecture too. Awesome post! Great tips!!! Thanks!!

melissa said...

so here i am, contemplating your photos again jim... first, the clear skies... bellissime ;)...
the lights...i really like lights and colors against a black background... the dawn... hmmm...if i could eat photos, then i'm satisfied with what i've seen...

i like your attitude... counter block the block :P...

a friend of mine told me i had a nice video... i told him, i did that when i was food poisoned and i couldn't go to the thyroid forum we have scheduled... :P

that goes to say, nothing could ever stop a artist from being one... sometimes, fher would tell me of his artist blocks... and i say dig into the well... the spring lies hidden from there :P

now, i can tell him to get inspiration from what you wrote... ABS... in our case ABD or ABP...:P

thanks jim, i have many things to say, as i always do... i leave space for other comments :P...

one of your best posts ;)... i'm learning a lot...

come si conclude? ricominciamo...

Jewell said...

Jim...I have been following your blog a while, and I have to say this is the best post I've seen since I've been following.

I'm an aspiring photographer, and your photos are beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to share them with us.

I have to agree with your advice "just take pictures". It's similar to writing in that way "apply butt to chair".

When my creativity is flowing freely (even those times when I don't have a camera) I've discovered that my mind clicks like a shutter snapping a frame I see as we are driving. Those days when it doesn't flow at all I've found that taking picture after picture until my mind's eye wakes up helps.

Rimly said...

Such Vibrant pictures Jim. I loved all of them especially the interior ones. Thank you for sharing.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Great post. I really appreciate your ideas of "chipping away at your creativity block". I find myself there sometimes. When there, I wander around somewhere taking what I call my throw away shots. Stuff I know I probably won't use. Sometimes I am amazed at what I come up with by accident!

Jorie Pacli said...

All those pictures definitely prove how brilliant a photographer you are.... I'm absolutely impressed with them and your talent of course. Please keep up with what you're doing as you know we are following.... We are your fans...;) Thanks JIM...

Tameka said...

I don't see any rust on any of those photos! Absolutely beautiful! I liked your recipe too. You never know, it might be delicious!

Cheers!
Tamstarz

FAYErydust said...

I will go there! yahoo! I will go there!!!!




--- in my dreams (sigh)

flim flam sam said...

These are really nice pics. Great eye.

Kriti said...

Your method does bring out great results - Totally convinced. I, in the meantime, have a long way to go before I can claim to have writer's block. I am too excited to share my stories so the blocks have stayed moderately in a distance so far. Sometimes when they start peeking in I start with a word - any word. Type it and then try and get a story around it. Sometimes - ideas just start flowing that way, sometimes I have to scrap the whole thing. Thank you Jim!

Jessica said...

I really enjoyed reading how you get your creativity flowing! I loved the pictures...wow you stay in some nice hotels! :)

JIM said...

Thank You everybody
Jewell please keep reading and commenting I appreciate reading the comments. On the time sI do not have my camera I still think as I do. lol

Jessica the reason we stayed in such a great hotel was that the client paid for three nights there. It was a wonderful Hotel in Miami

Jim