TALKING IMAGES 10 – DAMIEN DEMOLDER ON LEARNING TO BE CREATIVE

 

Damian Demolder (photo credit: whatdigitalcamera.com)

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Damien Demolder is a former editor of Amateur Photographer magazine, who now continues to write for this excellent mag, as well as leading photographic groups and courses.  Here he is, back on 10 August 2010, talking about learning to be creative:

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“As you all know, there are two sides to photography: the technical and the creative.  Technical knowledge and understanding can be learnt (admittedly it is more difficult for some than others).  I think most people appreciate that as a fact.

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Creativity, though, is viewed as something one either has or has not.  Its true that some annoying people are naturally creative and see everything through eyes that are not available to the masses, but it is also true that with concentration and thought, a purposeful plan and determination, creativity can be learnt, drawn out and developed in even the most seemingly unimaginative being.”.

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Agreed.  I don’t by any means have all the answers here, but I certainly know of two things that any interested and motivated person can do to enhance their Visual Awareness, that is, to become more aware of what will make striking and/or beautiful images and what will not.  So, first –

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LOOK AT IMAGES – ADD TO THE VISUAL LIBRARY IN YOUR MIND

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  • Look at as many images of different types as you can – the internet makes this easy.

  • And don’t just give them a cursory glance, the sort of glance that people lacking Visual Awareness use to look at anything and everything, but really look into them to see what they are showing, to see what is going on in there.

  • And don’t just look at photographs, look at least at paintings of all types too – to which I could add images in advertising, cartoons, pencil drawings, etc. etc.

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Why do this?  Because, to quote Roger Hicks, every time that you look any sort of image, you are adding to the visual library in your mind, you are becoming more visually experienced.

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But there is something else –

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LEARN TO SAY ………. WHY  ……….  YOU LIKE OR DISLIKE ANY IMAGE

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Now this is the thing.  You have an image in front of you and it will provoke one of three responses – you will either like or dislike it, or be indifferent.  The last is the most difficult to bear for makers of images – we have laboured to create something beautiful and/or striking, but showing it to people elicits only blank stares.

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But the like and dislikes are the ones to hold onto.  Because if an image elicits a positive or negative response within you – TRY TO SAY WHY THIS IS SO.  Sometime back I wrote a post on this, along with other posts aimed at newcomers to photography – you can find these posts here.

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I’m not saying that being able to articulate your visual likes and dislikes will automatically make you a more creative person.  But what I am saying is that if you are able to say something – anything – about why you like or dislike an image, you will also be able to do this when looking at your own camera’s screen or through its viewfinder, and you will be on the way to creating photographs that you, at least, like.  And that’s a step forward.

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Adrian

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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

5 Responses to TALKING IMAGES 10 – DAMIEN DEMOLDER ON LEARNING TO BE CREATIVE

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    Wonderful post! And as you know, I have always admired your way of “seeing” :). The way you read photograph is something which makes me learn it too. But somehow, I am just not getting hang of it or my words fail me. 🙂

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Glad you find this useful, my friend. If you are finding “reading” difficult, then my advice is to start with your simplest and broadest impressions of images, your very basic first impressions, and to articulate these before going in more deeply. Really simple stuff – my eye doesn’t fix on anything, its too dark/light, the horizon is skewed, the person’s expression is idiotic, it would be better in mono/colour, the colour balance is wrong, etc, etc. A 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. andybeel says:

    Hi Adrian an excellent post. Thanks Andy

    Like

This blog has two pleasures for me - creating the images and hearing from you - so get your thoughts out to the world!

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