Just how do we branch into creative photography? Is it an intuitive aspect of photography that we don’t often branch into, or, is it something else? And, what is it that makes a creative photography different to standard photography?
There are many things to consider when looking at creative photography, but first, let’s work out what “creative photograph” really means?
Creative photography can be anything from learning how to capture that special smile to photographing an odd shape against a dark and unusual background. Or perhaps it could simply mean the photographer has created something that no one else has.
I’m a professional portrait photographer and to me creative photography really means any genre of photography that has a very artistic feel about it. It may be a unique candid moment between two people where they did not think they were being watched or a strange and eerie black and white photo of tree roots on a hill.
Creative photography doesn’t just depend on a photographers keen sense of art, it also relies very much on lighting. Let’s take these photos as an example. I’m going to show you an ordinary photo, then I’m going to take ALL the colour out of it and change it to black and white. I’ll also reduce the midtones and increase the contrast so you can see how creative photography very much depends on the lighting.
The yellow tone and the rustic brickwork in the background have allowed the black and white version to work. I have reduced the midtones because digital photography gets its black and white tonal range from a midrange value. What this means is that black and white photography can’t really reach the level of “creative photography” unless it has a reasonable amount of contrast and true black and white within the image.
Black and white photography really does bring a new and fresh element to creative photography. Black and white does make a photo creative because of what it does visually and emotionally.
So what about colour photography becoming creative? Well, much of colour photography can indeed be classed as creative photography, but again, it’s all in the lighting. This time I am going to show you two images with different subjects, yet they are still classed as very creative photos.
The first photo is of coloured paper from a creative angle. Not many photographers would think of shooting coloured paper this way. Not only is the paper interesting, but as the paper forms interesting shapes and patterned swirls it has a serrated edge. The combination of colour, shapes, form and texture indeed contributes to creative photography.
Creative photography is not just defined by man-made objects, but landscapes and natural elements too. In the photo of the landscape scene at dusk we quite plainly see the beauty in the simplicity of a single, line gentle stretching across the photo. The intense, dark colour that makes up the bulk of the top and bottom of the photo gives us a completely unique perspective on nature as creative photography at it’s best. The fading sunlight in the sky, and the reflection of the fading light, represents a unique perspective of how delicately commanding this unique photo truly is. In fact you could say that these two photos constitute creative photography quite strongly.
You can create creative images from anything. As you can see from the top two photos, whereby each had vastly different lighting, that each one gives creative photography a new meaning; that nature and macro can be just as creative as, say, abstract or black and white.
These two photos about prove that creative photography can be anything where the viewer is inspired, artistically, to want to photograph their own creative work. That’s what creative photography does in fact. It does inspire us to create our own unique creative images, consisting of strong texture, shape and interesting lighting.
Creative photography has no boundaries. It’s kind of like beauty. You know how that saying goes; it’s “in the eye of the beholder”. And so is creative photography. It is up to interpretation, and, can be defined as unique, unusual or just beautiful.
To get started on your own creative photography journey I will encourage you to view the world differently. Don’t see things how they appear. See things how they do not appear. Photograph things from another angle, perspective and meaning. Offer your viewer your own meaning of creative photography and smash the boundaries of conformity for good.