Notes on Creativity for Photographers

A candid discussion from David duChemin about the way we think and create, The Inspired Eye bundle is about what happens before and during the time the camera comes to your eye and the shutter is pressed; how to deal with constraints, challenges, and inspiration; and how to light and feed the fire of creativity.

The Inspired Eye, Vol.I is the first of a three-part discussion about the nature of inspiration and the creative process as it relates to photographers. A vital creative life and an understanding of how your own process works is the greatest asset a photographer can have; it precedes any of your work with the camera or in the digital darkroom.

Volume 2 picks up where the first book left off, continuing to explore the creative process for photographers. While certainly less sexy than a new lens, understanding and working with your creative process is the core of what you do and will make your images more uniquely expressive: this is where vision begins. Volume 2 includes an interview about the creative process with Chris Orwig, author of Visual Poetry. All illustrations are from David’s own work chasing his muse, using film for the first time in 10 years.

Volume 3 is about the creative process behind your photography. Technical proficiency is highly overrated; if you can make a good exposure and focus the camera, the rest is about your choices—your own creative decisions in making a photograph. Improving your photography happens when you improve the way you approach your own unique creative process.

If you want to create great photographs, gear and technique won’t get you there. The continual focus on gear at the expense of creativity is why so many who love this craft become frustrated. After all, for all its bells and whistles, a camera is just a box with a hole in it. Add a lens and there’s little else. Spend too much time on the peripherals (gear and technique) without tending to the core, and you risk ending up proficient at creating photographs that are uninspired and uninspiring.

If you have any interest in expressing yourself and creating beauty, if you’re not just a camera collector but a photographer, then creativity is your core asset. Investing in that asset, and understanding how it works, is key.