Searching for Creativity, Left Brain Thinking!

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As a left brain thinker, creativity doesn’t always come easy. This can prove especially hard when you are in a general creative slump. How do you get out of these slumps? By doing something…..ANYTHING. You have to force yourself to get some sort of creative juices flowing until and the spark comes back. Here are some things that have worked for me that I would like to share with you.
  • Start Writing: This doesn’t have much to do with photography but it gets my brain going. You will be amazed at what you can come up with if you just start writing stuff down. It could be anything really. Start writing about your day, write a short story, describe something in your current view with great detail. All of this stimulates the creative parts of my brain and I bet it will work for you too. In all honesty, I am in one of these slumps right now. I was struggling with what to write about this week and I finally thought…..why not write about struggling and how to get out of it? So, here I am, writing.
  • Go Somewhere New: Going to photograph the same places over and over again will become very stale. On the other hand, seeing something for the first time can be so exciting. Just get up and go. Sometimes I will stop at a beach I have never been to and go explore. The unknown can be so exhilarating. One of my favorite images came from a time where I went out alone and stopped at a random beach to see what I could find. (Image below)¬†You never know what hidden gem you may stumble upon.
  • Try Using A Different Lens: This is probably my favorite method. We all have our favorite lens. You know, the one that is on your camera 95% of the time. You likely know what you are going to see before you even put the camera to your eye. For me it used to be my wide angle lens. I used it all the time. Then I got the 70-200mm. I tried it, didn’t like it and it went back into the bag. Then I forced myself to use it by only bringing that lens with me one day. It forced me to get out of my comfort zone and challenged me to see things differently. After that day I have been hooked on that lens, it has become my new default. Noticing this I have now started to force myself to shoot my recently purchased 100mm prime macro lens to continue to challenge my eye. If you only try one of these methods make it this one. Push through the initial discomfort and it will be very rewarding.
  • Try A New Processing Technique: This can be a tough one because it is hard to know what to do. I simply find a slider, panel, filter or menu that I haven’t used before and try it. Don’t be afraid to break something. We live in a digital world where you can simply “undo” and try again. You never know what cool things are in these programs unless you search around…..or watch those sweet tutorial videos from Photonerds. ūüôā GO ADAM!
  • Look To Your Peers: Check out what your fellow Photonerds are doing. We are creating these amazing communities where we can all share what we are doing. Use these places for inspiration. We are here for each other. Let us know what is working and what isn’t. If you come across something cool, share it. If you need some help, don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Look At Other Artists Work: There are so many places to do this nowadays. Pick your favorite social media platform and check out the beautiful photos people are creating. Try not to get discouraged. Again, use this for inspiration. Let it guide you to trying something new or let it spark an idea. This doesn’t only have to be photography either. I find that a lot of my inspiration through short movies and time-lapse films. Some other ideas are museums, paintings, architecture, the design of the phone in your hand, anything! Use whatever speaks to you.
These are the things that work best for me when I am struggling and I hope they will work for you too. If you have any additional ways to overcome a creative slump please share them in the comments so everyone else can benefit as well.

-Jack

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