What I learned from my first Photography Project Assignment

I completed the first assignment for my NYIP course last month. Of the ten photos I submitted, my instructor considered this one to be the best.

Escarpment View

From Hamilton’s Mountain Brow, you can see the all the way across the lower city and Lake Ontario to other parts of the Niagara Escarpment in the distance.

This was the one he liked the least:

Stained glass

Stained glass

I was surprised by both selections until he explained that in most cases I merely took a picture of something which someone else created. He assured me that I’ll learn to create my own original images as I work through the course material, but I’m a bit skeptical, as I don’t think of myself as having that type of vision.

For example, I’ll see a meadow full of wildflowers and take a picture of the meadow. If I’m feeling very clever, I’ll kneel down and take a close-up of one cluster of files or maybe a single flower. Then my even cleverer sister will come along and take a close-up of one petal.

While thinking about this, I remembered a workshop I attended a number of years ago, where the participants sat together according to personality type. My group of ISTJs all considered ourselves creative, but our creativity took a very different form than that of most of the other types. We thrive when someone describes the desired end result and we can apply our unique brand of creativity to making it so.

One of the exercises in Marci Segal’s Creativity and Personality Type, which I’d received at the workshop, helped me to realize that when I see something, I compare it to what I’ve seen before and use that as my guide. That works for me as a web designer, but to be a good photographer, even as a hobbyist, I need to develop my ability to see possibilities. I’m not confident I can learn that from the NYIP course, which feels more informational than inspirational, so I’m supplementing my lessons with some additional resources:

I’ve also taken part in a couple of online photo challenges.

environmental portrait

Portrait: Environmental – Show a subject in their natural habitat. (NYIP student challenge)

cabbage

The humble vegetable (Digital Photography School weekly challenge)

I think photography is about to get a lot more fun!

Do you think creativity can be learned?

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