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Imagination, creativity and photography

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ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014708 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 2:58 PM

How important is a good imagination for producing images?

Does being creative help or hinder photography?

Can you produce great photographs with no imagination and/or creativity?

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11 Jan 2009 - 2:58 PM

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BernieS
BernieS  5243 forum posts United Kingdom
11 Jan 2009 - 3:05 PM


Quote: How important is a good imagination for producing images?

Does being creative help or hinder photography?

Can you produce great photographs with no imagination and/or creativity?

IMHO not sure how you could undertake any form of art without imagination & creativity. Even mathematical art forms such as fractals require creativity in order to be turned into images that are acceptable as "art".

I believe that creativity and imagination are fundamental to good photography - if you simply point & shoot then isn't that "taking snapshots" rather than "photography"?

No doubt others will make their opinions known as well ... ... ... Smile

kinfatric
kinfatric  9550 forum posts Scotland9 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 3:06 PM

a bit of light helps or at least a source of it Smile

Last Modified By kinfatric at 11 Jan 2009 - 3:10 PM
digipix76
digipix76  7577 forum posts England
11 Jan 2009 - 3:10 PM

A....Depends what you want to convey in your photography!

B....Helps

C....Of course you can

sut68
sut68  101994 forum posts England76 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 3:16 PM


Quote: Does being creative help or hinder photography?

Being a photographer with 'vision' or creativity will surely set you apart from the rest ... won't it?

Overread
Overread  63746 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 3:31 PM

If you can envision a photo from a sight you see before you take the photo then that gives you a massive advantage in selecting the right settings, lens, focal length (for zooms) and position to stand in.
Of course to allow that creativity to be shown one needs to first master the technical of the camera and understand how to control and manipulate it.
Further some forms of photography require quiker thinking and more luck and skill - landscaping is slow and steady (mostly) giving one time to think -- in contrast wildlife is very fast (when the action happens) and you only have milliseconds to frame, set and take the shot.

webjam
webjam  9292 forum posts Netherlands11 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 4:00 PM

I do not think that you have to imagine the pictures in your head before you actually take them - creativity takes over when you let yourself be surprised by what you see and feel.

If you are not really creative, your pictures will probably look a lot like other photographers pictures. I feel that you really need a creative look to make a different and creative picture.
But there are so many ways of being creative. Some people may be creative with choosing viewpoints, or the use of lenses. And some people have a special eye for the characteristics of light, while someone else might be creative with composition.

Photography especially is difficult in this way. There is a load of technical stuff to learn. The drawback is that when you just learn these rules you can take produce nice pictures. But to make them outstanding, you need a bit of creativity!

Jacqueline

keith selmes
11 Jan 2009 - 4:08 PM


Quote: How important is a good imagination for producing images?

Vital


Quote: Does being creative help or hinder photography?

Its a requirement


Quote: Can you produce great photographs with no imagination and/or creativity?

You can probably produce extremely accurate technical record photographs, which scientists or engineers would consider great for their purposes. But competent would probably be a better word. I don't think you would need much creativity to take aerial photographs of trench systems in WW1, but your photographs could be highly prized today. Its unlikely they would be classed as great photos today.
By contrast, the truly great photos might well be the composites done by Frank Hurley, heavily criticised by historians because they were not an exact record of the scene in front of the camera.

After all that, there's always pure luck, and the monkeys writing Shakespeare idea.

Ganto
Ganto  8769 forum posts Ireland2 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 4:16 PM

A good imagination is the key to good photography.

Anyone know where I can get one?

SuziBlue
SuziBlue  1116195 forum posts Scotland10 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 4:24 PM

"Great photography" is such a subjective thing though. If someone can produce a landscape that is technically "correct" in every way but has no spark or soul, does that make it great photography?

For instance, some of the well known contemporary photographers with pictures in every art shop who take landscapes just don't do a thing for me. Nice photographs to look at, and they're well exposed, sharp, etc etc, but I don't find that I think about them and I'm not inspired by them. So they're big names - so what. To me the pictures are two dimensional in terms of creativity and imagination. They're technically correct record shots. Yawn.

For me, great photography moves me in some way. If I'm not moved, or it's just another over saturated picture trying to make more of a scene than is actually there, or it's a record shot (in my own opinion) then no. Does nothing for me and doesn't feel creative or imaginative. But it might appeal to others, so what do I know.

I'm very critical of my own work - if it doesn't move me in some way, or tell the 'story' I'm trying to illustrate, or it doesn't resonate with me then I junk it. It may not mean anything to someone else, but if it does, then that's even better.

Last Modified By SuziBlue at 11 Jan 2009 - 4:25 PM
ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014708 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 6:44 PM

How important is a good imagination for producing images?


one of those vague questions really... it entirely depends on the scenario you're working in.

I've a friend who employed a photographer for 3 days (on good money) to take photos of springs for a catalogue - that required no imagination

An awful lot of wedding togs are just there to "get the shots" and little else - more a technical and crowd control excercise.

Imagination comes into it when you've got a broader breif, or indeed for most of us, no breif.

I believe that a photographer with good imagination is one that can find a good image when the odds are against it.

by that I mean that when the odds are in favour, any photographer could get a great shot - even with a phone! But given poor conditions, the unimaginative photographer will pack up and go home whereas the one with imagination will be more likely to persevere.



Does being creative help or hinder photography?

Again, scenario based...

At a wedding, say, if you spend ages with the group shots trying quirky angles and getting creative, you'll piss the couple and crowd off, and that ruins the day for you.

If you're a creative sort, photographing screws will do your head in - you'll be bored and resent the job in no time.

Then again, you see Annie Lebowitz's amazingly creative setups, and she gets a fortune for them - but that's in a different arena.

I think that if you are creative, you can produce something from nothing more often than a non-creative. Hard to distinguish creativeivity from imagination in this context really.



Can you produce great photographs with no imagination and/or creativity?[


Mostly yes.....

I think there's probably 3 aspects to a landscape photographer,

technical know-how,
light quality and
imagination.


Given good light, a photographer with little imagination, but one who knows how to expose correctly and focus correctly can record a scene - and many landscapes are fantastic at sunset even if you just take a standard head height shot,

However, if you get creative, you can add that extra dimension to a shot - you can add a story to it to lift it, use elements that most would miss to make it more memorable etc.

So no, it's not essential to have an imagination or creativity to get good images - but I think it's probably the difference between good and great

User_Removed
11 Jan 2009 - 6:45 PM

Generating something that other people have already generated is basically very straight-forward and debases the art, particularly when presented as original work. It takes commitment and vision to create something novel.

Eightball
Eightball  7 United Kingdom
11 Jan 2009 - 7:25 PM

Surely seeing what you want to shoot and framing it correctly is alone being creative even without adding to that the settings on the camera?

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014708 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 7:39 PM

true Chris

what you notice is that on meets you get a group of people all at the same location - but generally you get different shots from them all.

That's a good indication of who's creative, who's technically competent, who's good at duplication, who's been influenced by who etc.

Photography's a wierd "area" in that it combines the science of optics and the art of composition and story telling, so you get a very broad range of people doing it, all with differeing combinations of abilities.

You get the types who shoot on Green Square full auto right through to the everything-in-manual types, then the ones that just want a record of something through to the ones that will spend hours creating something, then photographing it.

fertile ground ain't it Smile

Tooth
Tooth  95772 forum posts Ireland227 Constructive Critique Points
11 Jan 2009 - 9:16 PM


Quote: Given good light, a photographer with little imagination, but one who knows how to expose correctly and focus correctly can record a scene - and many landscapes are fantastic at sunset even if you just take a standard head height shot,

I disagree there, there are plenty of examples in the normal gallery and the critique gallery which just feature a fantastic sunset sky and nothing else. Yes, good light has to be there, but after light, composition is everything else - how the eye is led through the scene, what elements go where , how they're balanced out, what's not there..I could go on. This is where the creativity comes in IMO - see a good sunset yeah, but find the spot, angle, perspective and framing to fit it into a balanced, pleasing rectangular work of art

Stephen

Last Modified By Tooth at 11 Jan 2009 - 9:38 PM

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