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03-12-2009, 06:00 AM   #1
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Creativity ?

I'm not a creative person, really, so I guess that's one of the problems why I can't get good pictures. It also might be because I've only been taking photos for about 9 months now. (beginner)
What should I keep in mind when shooting a photo? I really need advice on this. This is a stupid question, but the answers from pro's will help me in the future, for sure.

My camera is Pentax K100D Super, I'm sure it's a great camera for a beginner, the lens I use is the Sigma 18-125mm 3.5-5.6.

03-12-2009, 06:06 AM   #2
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I have a K100D Super as well and I use this to keep my inspired to use my camera:

PENTAX Photo Gallery

All those images were taken with a K100DS. I actually have been trying to keep up with the "weekly" challenges here on the forum. They provide a subject every week that will force you to take a look at the world around you to provide a image. Look for the "Weekly" challenge threads and the "Project 52" threads:

Mini-Challenges and Games - PentaxForums.com
03-12-2009, 06:10 AM   #3
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Hmm.. Yeah, I guess inspiration is really important. I'll try the "Weekly" challenges also, only if I get a good enough photo, though
03-12-2009, 06:36 AM   #4
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I've challenged myself to take at least one photo per day. Any topic, any kind of photo (macro, landscape, cityscape, candid portrait, event photograph) but definitely one per day.

I also have a photography book on my desk at work for inspiration and try to use my time before and after work more for exploring and walking around than justing sitting down at home.

Try to find photos or photography types you like and try to achieve similar effects, too!

Hope that helps

03-12-2009, 06:42 AM   #5
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creativity is the ability to take what you know and put a new spin on it.




read books, read magazines, look at works of others, listen to the radio, watch good television programing (for instance, "inside the actors studio")

attend theater, street performances, low budget cinema.

next time you see a homeless guy drumming on a trash can, stop for a moment and listen to him.

absorb the world.



then when the time comes use the tools at your disposal to express your ideas.


if you are going to use photography as your tool, then learn about such topics as:

depth of field

perspective / field of view

flash/strobe

multiple exposures

these are good starting topics, they will help you understand what you have in your hands.

but knowledge is first, creativity is taking something that exists and putting a new spin on it, or morphing it into something greater, but you can only improve something after you know it.
03-12-2009, 07:45 AM   #6
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Most people, myself included, started by going to 'picturesque' locations and end up taking the same picture that thousands of people before them have taken.

A way out of this rut is to choose activities rather than location, so go to show jumping or jet skiing events. In other words go with a subject in mind.

This can start in your back garden with flowers (yeah I know more flower pics), but they do teach framing and plain getting used to your camera, then move on to flowers with insects on them and so on. This is not wasted time as you're getting to know your camera and how important quality of light is and how it changes.

The go to subjects that move, street photography can be good for this and you will begin to understand the power of 'the moment', lessons learnt about light you will start to apply to this genre, a little to the left or right will alter the angle of light and soften or deepen shadows whichever you want.

Go to galleries and see how painters have framed their pictures, browse photo mags for the same reason, if you see something you like try to re-create it. Photo mags are good for introducing you to new techniques. By this time you will be really good at flower pics, so apply the new techniques to this 'safe' subject, you have just increased your options and creativity.

Its important when your camera is in your hand, there is an idea in your head, where the idea comes from isn't important, it could be from the gallery, from a magazine, from an advert, it doesn't matter, what does matter is you have a goal something to work towards, often you won't realize it, the opportunity for that idea doesn't happen, but the opportunity for another idea might, sometimes, just sometimes everything comes together and its a great feeling. The more you do it the more everything seems to come together.

In our club people say you're really lucky Chris, wherever you are something happens, to paraphrase an old saying the more I practice the 'luckier' I become.

ChrisJ
03-12-2009, 08:06 AM   #7
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Great Thread and very good replies,
I have just purchased a K200D a couple weeks ago, and have taken a few pictures. Must say I lack the creativity and composition skills as well. I honestly thought it would be a no brainer. Boy was I ever wrong. Any way great advice given.
Thank You.
03-12-2009, 08:11 AM   #8
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Same here Thanks for the replies.

03-12-2009, 08:28 AM   #9
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Ditto... from me too. I guess for me, right now the weather is horrible and depressing and I don't feel like shooting anything. Then I get excited because we had a tornado warning, and by the time we got out on the road, we missed it.

I'm hoping with spring right around the corner... maybe... I'll be in a better mood and ready to go out and shoot. We've got plans to go to the zoo and the St. Louis arch, so I'm planning on getting some good shots. Also maybe have a another lens or two by then.
03-12-2009, 08:36 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wildnsyko Quote
Ditto... from me too. I guess for me, right now the weather is horrible and depressing and I don't feel like shooting anything. Then I get excited because we had a tornado warning, and by the time we got out on the road, we missed it.

I'm hoping with spring right around the corner... maybe... I'll be in a better mood and ready to go out and shoot. We've got plans to go to the zoo and the St. Louis arch, so I'm planning on getting some good shots. Also maybe have a another lens or two by then.
Same here for me about the weather. It sucks at the moment, snow everywhere, it's cloudy, the light is very bad for getting any kind of picture.
03-12-2009, 08:37 AM   #11
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For those thinking about it try jumping into this week's Project 52 theme: Repetition

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games/53147-project-52-we...epetition.html

Pretty simple subject that you can find anywhere and with anything big or small. Good luck and good shooting!
03-12-2009, 08:37 AM   #12
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make your own light!

http://strobist.blogspot.com/
03-12-2009, 08:53 AM   #13
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I am also a newbie, got my camera in 2008. I struggle all the time and get discouraged when I see beautiful pictures taken around the world. You begin to think anyone can take a beautiful picture if they live on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Not true however.

One tip I did learn was to look at a scene from all sides: left, right, front, back, low, high, and even from inside if possible. Now if I would just learn to do that.
03-12-2009, 10:15 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wildnsyko Quote
Ditto... from me too. I guess for me, right now the weather is horrible and depressing and I don't feel like shooting anything. Then I get excited because we had a tornado warning, and by the time we got out on the road, we missed it.

I'm hoping with spring right around the corner... maybe... I'll be in a better mood and ready to go out and shoot. We've got plans to go to the zoo and the St. Louis arch, so I'm planning on getting some good shots. Also maybe have a another lens or two by then.
My brother has a cool series of photos from a trip to the Arch. The river was extremely high and some barges broke away upstream. Very dramatic, but you can't count on that happening every time. I would put the base of the camera on one of the inner surfaces at the bottom of the arch and point the lens upward. A wide angle lens should work.
03-13-2009, 04:00 AM   #15
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Getting good pictures is different from being creative. You can get good pictures simply by learning and applying a few rules, like paying attention to your background, cropping out anything that isn't important to what you're trying to show, using the rule of thirds, making sure your subject is in focus and exposed correctly, etc... Being creative is learning to step outside those boundaries or using those rules in a fresh way. Look at as many pictures as you can so that you can zero in on what type of pictures appeal to you. Someone suggested the PPG. That's a great place. Or look at photo magazines...or go to the library and check out a few photo books. Don't just flip through the pages. Instead, when you find a picture that you like, study it and try to figure out why you like it and what makes it work. I sometimes use my hand or a piece of paper to cover up elements of a picture I'm viewing so I can see how that particular element adds or detracts from the composition. Heck, if you want to get started right now, go to this month's photo challenge on the board, keep track of the pictures that you like, then go back and try to see what makes it work...why is this shot of a skyline better than another shot of the skyline? Is it the light? the color? the angle? the lens used? In short, it's all a bit like learning a second language or how to play an instrument. There's no real short-cut. You just have to think about it a lot and work at it.
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