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Seeing Creatively To Improve Your Photography

A new camera! Yey! Better yet, it’s a new DSLR or mirrorless camera! Now what do I do with all these buttons?

The excitement of many first-time ‘complex’ camera owners to get to know their new gear is understandable. We’ve all been through that itch to shoot, to take those awesome photos the camera manufacturers promised us the cameras can take and we can’t wait to get started!

A few manufacturers even have free training to “get to know” your camera better, which is great, but it also skips a huge step to a beginner’s journey in photography — seeing creatively.

The Camera Is Just A Tool

Take a look at any photography forum, online photo sharing site, or social media groups on photography and you’ll probably see a ratio of 90:10 of forgettable images to good, memorable images.

The reason isn’t the lack of interesting subjects, but the lack of fundamental skill of seeing creatively.

Yin Yang | David L. Tong 2008

Yin Yang | David L. Tong 2008 | Sentosa Singapore

It’s interesting to see whenever I attend the annual Canon Photo Marathon here in Singapore, for example, where about 90% of shots submitted per theme have tons of near-identical entries. (If you’re not familiar with the Canon Photo Marathon event, check it out here).

There’s no amount of technical know-how that can compensate for lack of creative vision.

I’ve mentioned in my post about seeing creatively (read post) So here’s a short list of video tutorials on how you can train your eyes to see more creatively to allow yourself to see any mundane scenes to a creative photographic experience.

These should be enough to get your creative juices flowing…

Experiment, keep shooting, analyze what interesting photographs have within the frame and apply what you learn to every shot you take.

Make every click of your shutter button count, train yourself to see a scene and watch your images improve at a rapid pace.

Image by Sharon Tenenbaum

Image by Sharon Tenenbaum

If you have more resources you want to add to the list, add them in the comment section for everyone to learn from. A resource such as this awesome book titled – Understand the Left & Right Brain unlocks how creative photographers think differently from technical shooters. It’s a highly recommended read.

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