Can You Learn To Be Creative?

If a photographer’s experience was measured by the total time behind the camera, you might be hard-pressed to find one with more than a few days experience. So what does a professional photographer do with the rest of his time, you ask. Great question. The rest of his job is about seeing creatively, arranging the perfect shot in his mind, making whatever changes are necessary to stage the subject, arrange the perfect lighting and focus, remove the distractions and capture his imagined scene in such a way that he can share it with you.

I’ve always had a love for photography. As a teenager, I was the one dropping off rolls of film at the pharmacy and counting the minutes until I could get my prints back. As a young adult, I shopped the Black Friday brochures looking for the best deal on digital cameras.

Just a couple of the toys I collected over the years

These days, I snap pictures with my iPhone 6Plus but I dream of having my own professional equipment again someday and this book is fueling that desire like monsoon winds to a wildfire. But the lessons in Learning to See Creatively, 3rd Edition are not just about taking photographs. Learning how to see creatively is about transforming your vision to create beauty, whatever your passion, whatever your art. The book is 144 pages of wildly imaginative pictures, some naturally occurring, some Photoshopped, all beautiful in their own way. And the author, Bryan Peterson, footnotes each image with details of how and when it was captured – equipment, exposure, filter used – so if you wanted to be a copycat, you could stage your own version of each picture. But creativity has never been just about reproducing someone else’s magic, no matter how easy it is to accomplish; instead, it’s about making something magical yourself. The hints that Mr. Peterson offer could be applied to infinite genres and I find myself wanting to quote him for many other reasons than just about photography – quotes like:

Complacency is our real nemesis; pushing the boundaries is what makes someone successful. p.6
Every photograph has some kind of story behind it… sometimes, we become so focused [on the story] that we are able to forget about the hardships that surround us. p. 22
Start asking more and more the questions What? and What if…? p. 132

Going through the lessons and exercises and suggestions in this book gave me a lot of information about photography but it’s really versatile and can be applied to the aspiring writer, painter, musician or (insert your craft here).

I was really happy Blogging for Books allowed me to review this book. They provided me with a free copy in exchange for my honesty.

Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition is available for purchase on Amazon (affiliate links included) and would make a great gift for someone you know could use a little validation that you support their artistic endeavors. Additionally, the photos are so interesting, the book would look great on your coffee-table.

Additional Links:

Other Non-Fiction books I have reviewed recently:

Shared with Grace

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Kay R. says:

    I need to learn to use my fancy camera! I would totally enjoy a book like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Heehee. I think you would but just know that you are not alone in this.
      I have other friends with fancy cameras that are collecting dust because they bought the Nikon (or Canon) thinking it would revolutionize their skills but then found out that experimenting with the different options is hard and can be expensive if you’re not sure what you really need. That’s one of the great things about the book – it shows the kind of image you can create and tips on how to create it, and alternatives for staging and cropping to frame just the right kind of picture.
      I was so impressed with the book, I got a copy for a friend who’s also an amateur photographer and he agreed that it’s a great guide too.


  2. That’s an interesting book. I believe that there is a world of beauty right in front of us waiting for our eyes to see it. I do believe we can “learn” creativity. It’s all a matter of opening oneself to new experiences without judgement.
    Thank you for joining #tiptuesday.
    Have a fabulous week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      That’s such a great way of saying it, Debbie – creativity is opening ones self to new experiences without judgment. I like that. Thank you for sharing it.


  3. Hi Run! This post will be featured on this week’s Tip Tuesday link party.
    Thank you for your contribution!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      oooh, That exciting, Debbie. Thanks so much for allowing me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned with others.


  4. Pingback: Tip Tuesday #24

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