Well a few weeks ago I had a complete creative block. Everything was going wrong that I tried. Every photograph, every piece of work just seemed to go wrong. The more I tried, the worse things seemed to get. Creativity had left.
Secondly, at the same time, I was concentrating on the branding side of my photography – setting up a website, a place to sell prints, marketing using social networks etc.
The problem is that both of these things required left brain thinking. Psychologists have identified that the left hemisphere of the brain is utilised in intellectual, logical, mathematical, linguistic skills. The more I engaged in these left brain skills, the less creative I became.
Finally I became frustrated, and just picked up my camera and went for a walk. No tripod, no filters, no remote for doing HDR bracketing. Nothing but me and my camera and the great outdoors.
My brain was free – well, to put it more correctly, the left hemisphere of my brain had stopped dominating. My right hemisphere started talking more. The right hemisphere of the brain is what controls our creative side – our imagination, our intuition, our feelings. As I walked just with my camera I was free to just take a picture of whatever caught my eye – no plan, just take the shot. Creativity dominated..
As soon as I got back to the computer my mind was full of creative ideas – not techniques, not following specific steps, but just playing. They were among some of my best images.
Of course life is a balance – if we never utilised our left brain, we would never learn anything new, and at times we need to struggle with a new concept or a new technique. So there is a time to just get down to it and put the hard work in.
Just maybe though, next time you are stuck creatively, the best thing you can do is down tools, go for a walk, strip whatever your doing and get back to basics. You might just be surprised.