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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 16 Dec 2008 (Tuesday) 04:33
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Creativity, nature/nurture

 
Mosca
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Dec 18, 2008 15:07 |  #31

I believe creativity can be learned; but it is very difficult to teach. Creativity is a type of awareness, and awareness (and how it is used and adapted to by the self) becomes almost hard-wired very early, as a way of learning. The self has desires, forms its awareness based on achieving those desires, and the system becomes a life-long feedback loop. The loop can be disrupted, but only when desires change, and that is not common.

Now, genius is a different story.


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chauncey
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Dec 18, 2008 15:54 as a reply to  @ Mosca's post |  #32

I would still suggest that all forms of talents, whether it be athletics or creativity is genetically imprinted on our DNA,
and that it forms that individual base line (different for everyone) with which we start our life. That's the nature part.
The nurture part determines what we do with that innate talent, how much work and desire that we have to improve on that base line.

"That's just my opinion, I could be wrong"

"Fat Wallet"...now that is crass. :lol:
But as Fast Eddie Felson paraphrased, "that's how ya keep score".


The things you do for yourself die with you, the things you do for others live forever.
A man's worth should be judged, not when he basks in the sun, but how he faces the storm.

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airfrogusmc
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Dec 18, 2008 16:46 |  #33

chauncey wrote in post #6904363 (external link)
I would still suggest that all forms of talents, whether it be athletics or creativity is genetically imprinted on our DNA,
and that it forms that individual base line (different for everyone) with which we start our life. That's the nature part.
The nurture part determines what we do with that innate talent, how much work and desire that we have to improve on that base line.

"That's just my opinion, I could be wrong"

"Fat Wallet"...now that is crass. :lol:
But as Fast Eddie Felson paraphrased, "that's how ya keep score".

There is something to that but creativity can be nurtured. Theres a great book
http://www.drawright.c​om/ (external link)
and understanding that we all have creative potential and how we because of many different issues are taught to suppress it is a message we can all take away from it whether we want to draw or not and its way to involved for a post on a forum.




  
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MattMoore
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Dec 18, 2008 16:50 |  #34

As long as you're having fun, then who cares.

But I do think about this sometimes too.

Now before I start, this is merely one part of my belief. Everybody has their own opinion and I respect that.

I do believe some people are born to do things. But I think to a certain degree most (if not all) people have a capacity (and a great capacity) for creativity.

I think nurture has a lot to with it BUT the problem is not the nurturing of creativity into a person, but the "nurturing" or conditioning of creativity out of a person (or most people).

I'll provide an example to open up what I believe may be happening to most people that don't think they're creative or just plain aren't creative.

What do you see below?

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


Most people will say something like "a cardboard box".

Now think back to when you were a kid or think about your children...what would they see?

Chances are "a box" may be just one answer. But most likely, you'll also hear things like : car/bus/tank, airplane/spaceship, boat/submarine, hideout/house/fort, etc.

Now look at the box again...you see there...you can see the car/bus/fort/airplane/​submarine now...and this time you can see other things, racing flames on the car, the cockpit of the airplane, the periscope on the submarine, where the door on the fort should be.

What happened? Somewhere between childhood and adulthood you lost something (or were conditioned to NOT think that way). But my point is that you HAD it, so it is not beyond your capacity to look for it and find it again.

We are pressured (for the most part) to grow-up, act grownup, be mature, be serious, how life isn't a game, gotta study hard and get ready for your fun-filled life wasting away in a cubicle.

I think this would take a toll on everybody's creativity. Many societies reject or treat those who differ from the norm. We seek acceptance from others (no matter how much of an individual we may try to be or want to think we are) by falling into line and start thinking like everybody else (in general) from which we want to be a part of/socialize with. This creates monotony on so many levels.

But creativity is such an relative & ambiguous concept. What one person sees as "creative" other may deem as "silly", "immature", or "I've already seen that". While its no fault of the originator of the idea. Perhaps he hasn't seen it somewhere else and wholly believes that their idea is original and creative.

And a lot of the times, I don't think the problem is not being a creative person, rather being perceived as stupid, silly, immature, or unoriginal....so we hesitate or don't pursue our idea at all. The perception and acceptance we seek from others is perhaps the greatest hinderance to creativity.

But I digress, I think creative or not, if you are doing what makes you happy and at the end of the day you can say, "I don't regret spending all day trying to get that perfect shot of <insert something here>", then you are doing something worthwhile.

It's not about what your subject your shooting is, it's about what you can make it.

Be silly, be immature, let your mind roam free (even if you fear embarassment or being chastised); do not feel ashamed of anything you had an idea about, a vision, and took it upon yourself to capture that vision (regardless of how silly it may have seemed to others).

But don't rush it or try to force it, creativity is something that usually just blindsides you when you're doing something completely different (this is why I carry a small notepad with me).

I'd could go on for days, but I think ya'll get the gist.



  
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sjones
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Dec 18, 2008 16:52 as a reply to  @ chauncey's post |  #35

I think genetics does play a role on some level, even if in just in the way it might facilitate the learning and developing process; meaning that one must still work at improvement. In any case, I do not think it is wholly restrictive, that we are somehow saddled solely by our DNA roadmap...other factors on the nurturing and cognitive side play a role as well.

The other issue is taste; which of course is remarkably subjective, but putting all the boring disclaimers aside, if you can't recognize worthwhile talent and creativity in others, then one will likely (with exceptions duly noted) struggle to develop it within themselves. This point is highly debatable (I know it is, because I am debating it with myself), but I think there is something to it.


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FlyingPhotog
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Dec 18, 2008 16:54 |  #36

nw85887 wrote in post #6904699 (external link)
As long as you're having fun, then who cares.

But I do think about this sometimes too.

Now before I start, this is merely one part of my belief. Everybody has their own opinion and I respect that.

Excellent Post...

Spot On regarding the fact we lose something when we "Grow Up."


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airfrogusmc
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Dec 18, 2008 16:55 |  #37

cdifoto wrote in post #6903992 (external link)
I define greatness as having a fat wallet. Everything else is pretense. IMHO.

Yeah. I love what I do. But ultimately, I'm in it to make money for myself. I'm not in it to make gallery owners rich 100 years after I'm dead.

Well then I spell it out in the language you understand. When you find your own vision clients can't get that anywhere else but from YOU so you can now charge a premium for that vision because the pack the followers are all doing the same thing. Its the difference in shooting the VFW for $750 a wedding and the 4 seasons for $12,000 a wedding. CHA CHING. Ya shoot 40 weddings a year at $12,000 a pop its more profitable than shooting 200 weddings at $750 a pop making you a much better living. And if you don't have a style your not gett'n the 4 seasons. Plus when you shoot for those kind of clients you have allot more creative freedom and less cookie cutter type work because thats what they're paying for.

Now you can apply that to almost any type of creative job.




  
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cdifoto
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Dec 18, 2008 17:03 |  #38

nw85887 wrote in post #6904699 (external link)
What do you see below?
IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


A cardboard box you say.

I see $2.89.

That's the average price of the box I need to send my crap back to Canon for service. Can I have that?


Did you lose Digital Photo Professional (DPP)? Get it here (external link). Cursing at your worse-than-a-map reflector? Check out this vid! (external link)

  
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MattMoore
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Dec 18, 2008 17:20 |  #39

cdifoto wrote in post #6904782 (external link)
I see $2.89.

That's the average price of the box I need to send my crap back to Canon for service. Can I have that?

Lemme introduce you to my good friend "Free Stuff section on Craigslist"...search for "moving boxes". :p

And no...if I give it to you, how else will I make it to planet Omicron Persei 8?




  
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PhotosGuy
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Dec 18, 2008 22:11 |  #40

Edit: More on this in post #43.

But don't rush it or try to force it, creativity is something that usually just blindsides you when you're doing something completely different (this is why I carry a small notepad with me).

That's true - the Eureka moment. But you reminded me of one of my posts where I talked about helping it along when you do have to produce under time pressure.

From How do you guys get your IDEAS?

The more you shoot, the more you learn how to get what you need, which inspires what you do the next time you shoot. The better that you understand your equipment & M settings, the more tools you have to work with? I want to spend my time looking at the subject & free up my brain to look for possibilities & think of variations & see what's happening in the background & foreground & is this a better angle & maybe try for less DOF &... &... &...,
Try to build an engine sometime with only a screwdriver & crescent wrench? You need more tools.

Why "M" exposure? By now, most of you know that I don't like having the cam "evaluate" anything for me & interpret the results. I make enough misTaKes of my own without compounding them with those with what I'd call a false evaluation.
YES, you can learn how to set up the cam to compensate. So you're compensating for the compensation? Manual settings work for me. When they don't, it's because I screwed up, & RAW will usually save me (again). There's too much going up in my brain to wonder what the cam is thinking THIS time. I want it to do JUST what I tell it to do. No more. No less.

Start with anything. Shooting is a process for me. Someone once said that if you have an idea, write it down & that frees up your brain to come up with more. Same for pics. Shoot anything to start. Chimp. Move around. Shoot some more. Chimp some more. As ideas come to you, shoot them. Chimp. Move around. Shoot some more, Etc. I usually "plan" on throwing the first 80% away. It's the process that counts. When you know you have it "in the can", shoot some more. Sometimes it's that last shot that really does it! So... MOVE YOUR FEET! A <rant> of sorts.
With film & a new model, I'd shoot with 2 cams, one empty just to give them time to loosen up.

Then there's the alternative to "shotgunning":
Years ago, I took a trip to the zoo when I was a full-time pro. I'd been going out on assignment & shooting a minimum of 60 rolls per day & bracketing like crazy to be sure that I came back with good exposures & I wondered if I had lost the ability to shoot selectively. (Bracketing also gives you extra shots for the portfolio, & allows you to split up the processing runs so that if you lose a roll in the lab, you have only lost one situation)
So I went to the zoo with a 50mm, a 1,000mm, & one 20 exposure roll of B&W film. (Color can save your a**, but B&W is more demanding).
I came back with 4 shots that I liked enough to blow up to 16" X 20".

EDIT: It looks as if I wasn't the first person to think of that! Photography Hell in Heaven (external link)
Shoot every day & have fun doing it. Build up your own "experience file". Plan for what you need to get in the shot & let the happy accidents happen along the way.

Darby Sawchuk's blog on "Breaking Shooter’s Block" (external link)

Student needs inspiration!

http://www.creativepro​.com …take-inspired-photographs (external link)
On creativity - A downloadable .pdf preview: Visual Poetry: A Creative Guide for Making Engaging Digital Photographs, (external link)


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
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airfrogusmc
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Dec 18, 2008 22:45 |  #41

PhotosGuy wrote in post #6906432 (external link)
That's true - the Eureka moment. But you reminded me of one of my posts where I talked about helping it along when you do have to produce under time pressure.

From How do you guys get your IDEAS?

The more you shoot, the more you learn how to get what you need, which inspires what you do the next time you shoot. The better that you understand your equipment & M settings, the more tools you have to work with? I want to spend my time looking at the subject & free up my brain to look for possibilities & think of variations & see what's happening in the background & foreground & is this a better angle & maybe try for less DOF &... &... &...,
Try to build an engine sometime with only a screwdriver & crescent wrench? You need more tools.

Why "M" exposure? By now, most of you know that I don't like having the cam "evaluate" anything for me & interpret the results. I make enough misTaKes of my own without compounding them with those with what I'd call a false evaluation.
YES, you can learn how to set up the cam to compensate. So you're compensating for the compensation? Manual settings work for me. When they don't, it's because I screwed up, & RAW will usually save me (again). There's too much going up in my brain to wonder what the cam is thinking THIS time. I want it to do JUST what I tell it to do. No more. No less.

Start with anything. Shooting is a process for me. Someone once said that if you have an idea, write it down & that frees up your brain to come up with more. Same for pics. Shoot anything to start. Chimp. Move around. Shoot some more. Chimp some more. As ideas come to you, shoot them. Chimp. Move around. Shoot some more, Etc. I usually "plan" on throwing the first 80% away. It's the process that counts. When you know you have it "in the can", shoot some more. Sometimes it's that last shot that really does it! So... MOVE YOUR FEET! A <rant> of sorts.
With film & a new model, I'd shoot with 2 cams, one empty just to give them time to loosen up.

Then there's the alternative to "shotgunning":
Years ago, I took a trip to the zoo when I was a full-time pro. I'd been going out on assignment & shooting a minimum of 60 rolls per day & bracketing like crazy to be sure that I came back with good exposures & I wondered if I had lost the ability to shoot selectively. (Bracketing also gives you extra shots for the portfolio, & allows you to split up the processing runs so that if you lose a roll in the lab, you have only lost one situation)
So I went to the zoo with a 50mm, a 1,000mm, & one 20 exposure roll of B&W film. (Color can save your a**, but B&W is more demanding).
I came back with 4 shots that I liked enough to blow up to 16" X 20".

Shoot every day & have fun doing it. Build up your own "experience file". Plan for what you need to get in the shot & let the happy accidents happen along the way.

Darby Sawchuk's blog on "Breaking Shooter’s Block" (external link)

PG good post!!!!




  
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FlyingPhotog
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Dec 18, 2008 22:51 |  #42

Excellent read Frank... ;)


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PhotosGuy
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Dec 19, 2008 09:11 |  #43

Thanks. Since you liked it, here's a bit more on the subject of giving yourself projects.
Why dont my pics reflect what I see?

In 2005 I restricted myself to one lens for the day, the 70-200 f/4: A walk by the river.

I also tried to shoot something I've never shot before: Radio Controlled Boats

And I've pushed myself to shoot high school volleyball & some bands.
St. Louis vs. Breckenridge Vollyball District Tournament 11/7/2008

Barbara Payton at the Carrick House Concert 11/23/08

Deer outside the window at night? Shoot 'em!
Midnight Applenappers; thieves in the night.

Is this great stuff? Mostly not, though there were a few that I liked and a ton that I deleted. But if/when someone asks me to shoot something like that, I'm ready for it.

Sometimes you have to illustrate something that you can't see & photograph & you have to have the "vison" to get the job done. Like when the client calls up on Monday & says, "I need a cover shot illustrating molecules formed from coal gassification. Maybe naphthalene, phenol, & ammonia. Try some including the coal, too. Can you show me something that rocks on Wednesday?"
No layout, no direction but the phone call. Just do it.

Except for the type which I added later, these were shot in the camera on film. You can almost see the thought process...

IMAGE: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v218/PhotosGuy/Forum%20Junk/ANR-Molecules-comp_01.jpg?t=1229697193

When we shot cars in the studio, it was mandatory to pick the angle first to match the AD's layout, then spend 1/2 day lighting it. Take an 8X10" B&W "polaroid" to make the AD happy. Then make adjustments & shoot 2 8X10" transparencies on the meter & process one to evaluate the color & density. Then, based on that result, shoot a 1 & 2 stop bracket & adjust processing on all 5 (includes the 1st normal shot) to get slightly different contrasts & color variations.
This bracketing was even more important on location shoots since we could only shoot at dawn or dusk. The middle of the day was for location hunting, & having one normal sheet processed at a local lab. Then the film was boxed with notes on the exposure & processing & shipped to our in-house lab in Detroit.

For PJ work, I'd use a variation of what Kenny does in this thread. Look over the situation & decide what is of interest & when would be the best time to shoot it. Forget the chimping part as there was no digital then, but the process was much the same. Shoot & look for a better variation as you go.

Two more reasons why I "shotgunned" & bracketed every situation:
1. Labs & delivery services were just another opportunity to lose my work if I was stupid enough to let them. ;)

2. I once worked with a stereotypical German photographer. He was so meticulous that he used screws on the hardwood floors of the house he was building. Verrrry precise in his exposure calculations. He came back from a 2-day shoot with 3 rolls of 36. Unfortunately, on the trip out, something glitched the diaphragm on his primary lens & it was stuck on wide open. Why he never once used the DOF Preview button, I'll never understand. The client was not amused, & who could disagree with him? After all costs for me, transportation, lodging (except for the time I billed $12.00 total for TWO nights in the "Hotel"!), etc are added up, film is the smallest consideration. So I used it - typically 60+ rolls of 36 a day.

2. Bracketing will produce "The" correct exposure.
3. Bracketing gives extra close exposures that fit nicely into your Sample files.
4. Bracketing gives extra close exposures that the art directors & clients can fingerprint & scratch.
5. Bracketing gives extra close exposures when the inevitable dust speck embeds itself onto the "money Shot".
6. Bracketing allows one situation to be spread out over several rolls.

So a typical Workflow was...
Before you go, get all the film for that job in the same batch number, hopefully from the same vendor. We had freezers filled with it. (Pro films were 'aged' to be at their peak right now!). Clean the film gate & interior of the camera. Shoot & process one roll in each body to be sure everything is OK before you go. When you get there, check everything out. DOF Preview button. Listen to the shutter. Does it sound about right?

At the location:
Situation 1: First primary subject - seven stop bracket using f-stops. First variation on the primary subject - 5-stop bracket using shutter speeds. Next variation - 5-stop bracket using another body. (OK, so I'm insecure, but I've seen it all happen. How about the time in Italy when the town photo processor was asked to make 8X10" contact sheets of B&W film we'd shot over the weekend to identify locations we'd be using that week? He used his lovely deckel edge trimmer to cut out every shot & gave us 105 1" X 1-1/2" prints... without edge numbers.)

Situation 2: Second primary subject - repeat as above. Maybe drop down to 3-stop brackets if I shoot a lot of variations & my level of confidence that I've got it is up.

After the shoot:
NEVER ship (mail, UPS, etc) more than 20% of the film out in one batch.
NEVER process more than 20% of the film in one batch.
And make sure that they aren't in sequence, either, so you don't lose everything on a given situation. NEVER process more than ½ the rolls of a variation in one batch.

Bottom line, bracketing was just carrying CYA to it's logical conclusion… the client doesn't care that "the dog ate your pics". If it's even slightly under your control, then you had better have controlled it! Now, with histograms, Gigs of mem cards, & back-up film SLRs, things can be more relaxed. Sigh!

Edit: Digital applications of bracketing in the "Exposed!" article:: It's like Insurance for your Photos! :: (external link)

Time for another pot of coffee! :D

FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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chauncey
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Dec 19, 2008 11:21 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #44

Jeez Frank, you are one anal retentive photographer that truly believes in the CYA principal and I'm thinking that it comes from experience.
I won't ask how often you've gotten the shaft instead of the elevator, but the term "numerous" comes to mind.

Regardless, there aren't many of your links that I haven't followed, during the last two years, and have found them all illuminating.
But there is something, concerning your advise, that I've never figured out.

How do you keep track of the various scenarios and links for responses to the folks that pose the questions?
And...how/where do you store those appropriate links/images that you recite in those responses?

Anyway, thanks for being here. ;)


The things you do for yourself die with you, the things you do for others live forever.
A man's worth should be judged, not when he basks in the sun, but how he faces the storm.

My stuff...http://1x.com/member/c​hauncey43 (external link)

  
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PhotosGuy
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Dec 19, 2008 12:29 |  #45

I won't ask how often you've gotten the shaft instead of the elevator, but the term "numerous" comes to mind.

I can think of only two times I was bit. Once due to a Bronica back failure & once because the client didn't go into enough detail on what he needed, as opposed to what he told me he wanted. My fault. I should have dug it out of him, but he was so specific as to what he wanted that I thought he included what he needed? ;)
So I was lucky enough to have learned from others experiences very early on.
See:
Your pathway to today

How do you keep track of the various scenarios and links for responses to the folks that pose the questions?
And...how/where do you store those appropriate links/images that you recite in those responses?

I'm a lazy 2-fingered typer & all of these questions have been asked more than once. I keep the links in a Notepad file with keywords at the top so I can search for them. For instance, I found this response in about 5 seconds. How hard can it be?

Anyway, thanks for being here.

Now it's your turn! :)


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.