If you are like me, you constantly struggle with the creative process in photography. I’ve always felt that my technical abilities were very good, even above average for the most part. But coming up with original ideas and consistently producing eye catching photos can be a challenge. I believe it’s a lot like golf. If it were easy, then there wouldn’t be that drive to master it.
I purchased a series of ebooks from Craft and Vision a few months back, and finally got around to reading them. It was originally a two book series titled The Inspired Eye: Notes on Creativity for Photographers, written by David duChemin. Later, David added a third book to the series.
The Inspired Eye series, while not life changing, was definitely worth the few dollars I spent on it and the time to read it. Each eBook takes around an hour or two to read. In the series, I learned not only the creative process that David duChemin goes through, but also that working professionals struggle with creativity as much as enthusiasts do.
In book one, David introduces the Muses. The goddesses who where sources of inspiration in classical Greek mythology. Then he goes on to discuss what I would characterize as the mental aspects of being creative. Increasing your inputs, letting ideas incubate, knowing your creative space, embracing your constraints, being open to serendipity, and making mistakes.
In book two, David gets into the nuts and bolts of the creative process. Asking “what if”, knowing the rules and breaking them, collaborating, learning your craft, not censoring yourself, keeping notes on ideas and inspiration, digging deeper for inspiration, and letting it all flow. The book ends with an interview with Chris Orwig, photographer, author, and faculty at Brooks Institute of Photography.
Lastly, in book three, David discusses some mental and physical techniques he uses to boost his creativity. Topics include: stronger imaginations, sketching photographs, quantity leads to quality, taking risks, beginning, embracing solitude, slowing down, playing, imitating others and then moving on, trusting your process, and finally, forgetting about talent.
If you are looking for books on photographic techniques, then The Inspired Eye series is not for you. David duChemin steps outside the typical photography how-to book design and addresses some of the mental aspects of making good photography. Actually, his Inspired Eye series could be used in any creative endeavor, be it photography, painting, sketching, sculpture, or any other I have failed to mention.
Pick up your copy of any or all of The Inspired Eye books and start reading. I believe they will make any enthusiast or professional photographer better at his or her craft. And you can’t beat the price. Individually, each ebook costs $5, and you can get the entire series of three books for $12.
You can click on any of the book covers above, and you will automatically be sent over to David’s web site. Of course, I do earn a commission when you go through my links (at no extra cost to you!). If you do end up making a purchase, please shoot me a note on Twitter or Facebook so I can thank you personally!