I just returned from one of my favorite locations to photograph, Patagonia. I have been visiting this area for 25 years, and it continually inspires me on many levels. Inspiration is a good thing when it comes to developing your creativity. Everything seems new and fresh, and you energetically go about photographing new and interesting subjects.
But another aspect is just important for me in developing my creativity; perseverance. I’m not necessarily talking about standing in a blizzard until you get the shot. But more often instead of taking a one hour break before my next shoot, I just head back out the door to see what I can find. Pacing yourself is important, especially on long trips. But if you have the energy, go out and shoot.
The image at top in a perfect example. I’ve spent many nights at this hotel on Lago Pehoe, and have photographed this boardwalk before. I had an hour of free time, and seriously thought about taking a seat and relaxing for that time. But I really wasn’t tired, and I knew Patagonia weather and conditions were always changing, so I went for a walk along Lago Pehoe. I shot some beach scenes, some waves and the Cuernos Del Paine. I decided to head back, and as I approached the hotel, the sun broke through the clouds. Not only that, but it was perfectly aligned with the boardwalk. Even better, above the sun were classic saucer lenticular clouds. How many elements could perfectly align to create this 4 minutes of drama? I quickly set up on the boardwalk and took about 10 frames before the clouds closed up the sun disappeared.
Developing your creativity is a life long process. You don’t master it, you just develop along the way. If you want to speed up the process, go out and photograph more. And remember, sometimes you get the most ‘creative’ shots simply because you went out to shoot. Luck favors the prepared, but it also favors those who photograph more.