Detecting Creative Ruts

During the process of cultivating one's own "style"--be it in design, photography, clothing, whathaveyou--self reflection is a must. Studying one's own work is not only humbling (I often find myself thinking, why in the world did I choose that pattern? That placement? That cheesy effect?), it's also a good starting point for development. You view your projects more objectively once you've let them age for a while. You're able to see the progress that Current You has made since Past You created that piece of work. Or, in this case, that series of work.

Of the many lessons I've learned through analyzing some of my older photography, one of the biggest is that, well, I take way too many sky shots.

This is just a fraction of the collection. Posting them all would keep you here for a good 45 minutes.

Such a realization doesn't mean that I'll never take another sky-centric photo again; the habit, after all, is still a part of who I am as a creative. But I'd say this is an indication that it's time to try a new angle.

What patterns do you detect within your own work? How do you develop them to keep from getting stale?


  1. I LOVE sky pictures - I probably have a ton too!

    They are just so beautiful!

  2. I love sky photos! But, I think there's a difference in creative ruts and subject matter preferences. For example, I often find myself drawing people. But, my drawing human beings is not what starts making my work stale. The fact that I often draw people facing the same way or in the same position time after time after time *is* what makes my work stale.

    Maybe you shouldn't ditch the wild blue yonder just yet. Maybe you should just look at it from a new angle?

  3. Very interesting take, I like your ideas. This is especially challenging because the sky is, well always in the same position: up. Which means that a photographer has to really stretch their creativity to keep their photos from looking repetitive. Maybe I should experiment more with framing elements, contrast, etc. Thanks for the brain food!

  4. I'm a huge fan of trying new and challenging things, but maybe taking "excessive" pictures of the sky isn't the problem. Maybe taking the pictures without having a defined vision is.

    When you look skyward, what does it make you feel? Once you know what emotion it draws from you, you can focus on refining your photography to communicate that vision.

    It's like the difference between food photography that makes you drool and food photography that makes you think, "Oh yeah, I could make that."


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...