Creativity is the third leg of Camera Walking’s mission. Research shows that walking is an effective way to increase creativity, and taking a camera along is an added benefit. I look forward to capturing shots that, in post production, allow the artist in me to emerge. Occasionally I feel less inspired to go out walking, however, I make myself do it, and I usually feel better when I return and process my photos.
It is because of those days when I don’t feel inspired that sent me researching creativity. Most of my life, until I discovered photography, I didn’t think of myself as being very creative. I defined creativity as the domain of the real artists, poets and musicians. That of course is not an accurate interpretation. Creativity, more broadly, is the biological and spiritual impulse that rises out of our need to make things better, more beautiful, and true.
Julie Burstein, a Peabody Award-winning radio producer and author, in this TED talk shares four lessons in creativity. Take a few moments and watch. I think you will be inspired. I was.
In addition to the Julie’s great advice to embrace experience, challenges, limitations and loss, I would offer a few more tips:
Be Aware: Each day do one thing that is different from your normal routine. Take a different route on your walk, or bring a different camera. We have written about this over the past year, but it is always a good reminder.
Be Inventive: What we see everyday becomes ordinary to us. Whatever we originally saw as distinctive disappears over time, so invent a brand new pattern, a fresh way of seeing the everyday. Invent a theme for your walk, or decide to only take photos with a telephoto lens, a macro lens, your iPhone, or whatever feels new. The same walk will look different and can spark your creativity. Pablo Picasso said it best, “You don’t make art, you find it.”
Be Experimental: Learn a new skill. If you always take your photos in jpeg format try raw, or process your photos in black and white. Try a new filter to create a different look. The process of learning, of making mistakes, and finding a great result is all part of keeping your creativity alive and active. Scott Adams, an author, shares that, “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” That certainly applies to editing photos.
Be Open: For many, sharing our art is fun. We post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, and many other places. Reaching out to friends and professionals asking for honest feedback on our work can be a bit intimidating, but it is an important way to grow and increase our skills and creativity. Sign up for a workshop with a professional, join a photography club, join a Meetup group, or post your photos on 500+ or Flickr and ask for feedback. As Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.”
Our lives can be filled with creative moments, as long as as we are flexible and stay open to new possibilities and are willing to push beyond the routine. The ability to see things in a fresh way is vital to the creative process. So grab your camera and go out Camera Walking to not only increase your health and fitness, but stoke your creativity.
Let us know what you do to keep the creative juices flowing by commenting below, posting on our Facebook page, or sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.