Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

Part 2 – What is Creative Photography?

Continued from Part 1 – What is Creative Photography?

Now that we know the definition for creative photography, just how do we go about being creative? This is not an easy question to answer because, unlike the technical side of photography that be mastered by following specific workflows, there are no clear workflows for being creative. This is what makes creative photography challenging. It’s also why many photographers find photography to be a lifelong learning experience. While you can master the technical side of photography, the creative side often requires you to come up with something new to accomplish your goal.

While I can’t give you an exact step-by-step creativity workflow, I can tell you that, for me, careful observation and out-of-the-box thinking have proved indispensable in capturing creative photos. Here is example of what happened on our Fiji trip…

Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

I was out one afternoon trying to shoot the crabs that were hanging out on the island. What I really wanted was to fill my frame with the crab… and at the same time, create an interesting photo. I started out selecting the right subject. After waiting and watching for about 20 minutes, I soon found the perfect crab. He was bright red and stood out against the grey rock, especially compared to his “siblings”.

Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

Now that I had the right subject, all I need was to improve the composition by removing the distracting elements around the original photo (other crabs, rock face)… then I would be set. But when I looked at the image, it looked rather dull and boring. Technically there was nothing wrong with the image, but it did not require anything outside the normal photographic workflow to capture it… and it’s rather ordinary.

Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

I soon noticed that the incoming tide was making the waves crash just behind where these crabs were hanging out… and every once in a while, a big wave would wash over them. What if I was to time my shot and catch the crabs just as they were hit by the wave?

  • Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

    Eat my bubbles!! – Fiji

  • Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

    I have a creative Eye – Mana Island, Fiji

  • Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

    Who turned off the lights? – Mana Island, Fiji

  • Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji

    Crabstract – Mana Island, Fiji

This bit of extra element was enough to add details and a point of interest to my image. Once I saw the first of the images…I was hooked. I captured several shots ranging from crabs just under water to crabs playing peak-a-boo with the sea foam while keep an eye on me. This was clearly an improvement from my initial shots of some boring crabs sitting on a rock.

As you can tell from my experience, the creative process is often very situation-specific and conformed to what worked while shooting the crabs. The next time you want to capture creative photos, put on your thinking hat and ask yourself – What can I do differently? You may just come away some interesting shots and have fun while you’re doing it.

About Author Jay Patel

I could startoff like this – “Seeds of Jay Patel’s appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in his childhood….” but it would get boring really fast. I will just sum it up and say that I am a Landscape and Wilderness Photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. My photographs have been published in various magazines, calendars and advertising materials throughout the world.

Patience is a virtue...unless you are chasing your dreams

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2 replies
  1. Dale Watkins
    Dale Watkins says:

    Beautiful photo’s of the crab Jay! I just have ‘so much’ more to learn, thus the reason for perusing the net to find the answers. I’ll have to find some time to check out the blog, and find more there to answer many of the questions that pop up, especially since I’m new to DSLR photographer compared to many. Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are ‘so’ many drab, cloudy, rainy days, I yearn for better light, and that’s where my patience is, in chasing my own dreams! Look forward to ‘learning’ while waiting for those sunny spring/summer days to arrive. Thanks for your time.

    Reply

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