/ photography

Be creative!

What is creative?  According to, creative means: resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative.  Being creative is not being crazy, it somewhat requires a degree of craziness to gave birth for new idea (remember that most geniuses who change the world was taught as crazy when he or she first stated his or her idea).  However, it is certainly not crazy!  Crazy is doing weird things without thinking it's consequences and most of the time it is destructive, while creative is doing somewhat weird things thing for taking or giving benefits.

This article will help you to find the creative side of you and raise your ideas.

Creativity is all about finding new idea, not duplicating other's idea

Take a look at my Sydney Opera House picture.

Sydney Opera House

It is nice, albeit somewhat unsharp.  But it is boring, uncreative!  Hundreds or perhaps thousands of people shot the Sydney Opera House from the same or nearly same position every year and even with the same camera/lens combination. I need to take other perspective of the opera house to make a unique impression.  How about the wall texture of the Opera House?

Texture of Sydney Opera House

It is surely weird and not many people took this picture.  It has the idea: fractals!  Although I like it, I don't thing that is creative anyway.

Creative is dare to try

Try different camera orientation, White Balance, Picture Control/Picture Style, different f number (Aperture Opening), Exposure Compensation, Exposure Time and ISO.  It won't make your camera explode, so don't worry.  In fact, it trains you in setting camera.

This is just an example: usually people took mountain picture in a landscape orientation like the picture below:

Gunung Sumbing

Then out of insanity, try to capture mountain in portrait orientation!  This is the example below, and I love it, and I felt it's nice. It is surely weird, but it has the feeling.  The Volcano shot below shows the mountain is tall.


Or even try to play with the picture style to make it even weirder:


If you feel it is weird, you were very correct.  If you feel it is nice, you were also very correct.  Creativity is all about idea and the story you wanted to tell.

Creative in find another point of view, and let others knew it!

Make a funny title that is striking. people will be interested to an image with funny title compared to no title. This is psychological effect.  Giving fine title is a skill that I lacked, as I can't generate sweet good words.  This picture below is titled 'looking for trouble', and when you see the picture you should be able to see why do I call it!

looking for trouble

This picture is not technically sound, the image were unsharp, the colouration is far from reality and colour fringes were on the way.  Despite those weakness, this picture really made a point: a school of Moorish Idol is looking a trouble with this shark.  This picture was real, not a Photoshop or Corel edit, and it is almost can't be duplicated, since it is almost impossible to ask the Moorish Idol and shark to do this pose again. 

Did you know that I saw the point of this image when I wasn't staring a the image?  I saw this point about 5 months after I took the image when I was on the toilet doing my stuff when I saw a cartoon of Moorish Idol and I remember that I took a Moorish Idol picture and a shark in a sequence shot that result (bow before shark) I had published before.  Then I remember that before the Moorish Idols was bowing, it was right in front of the shark and I must have that shot on my external hard drive.  As if the school of Moorish Idol will make a fight with the shark, and there are more than 99% chance the they will loose the fight, the picture should be nice if titled 'looking for trouble'!

Therefore then I decided to give this picture a title: 'looking for trouble'!

Creative cropping to strengthen the idea

Crop-crop-crop: creative cropping often salvage garbage picture to usable ones, probably with different concept.  FYI, it is funny when I come to this conclusion: taking a picture in a huge megapixel camera with ultra wide angle, then correct it in DxO and crop it later!  Everything is captured so it waits and composing later when I got a time!  This idea is very creative, but it is not photography!

Removing unwanted elements is essential in good photography.  Therefore cropping is useful to show others about the idea on your picture, and make the idea bold! 

looking for trouble

The original image was cropped at least 50% to remove any unwanted elements that will render the image weak, such as shark's tail.  Without cropping, viewer's eye will be attracted to the shark, the biggest thing on the image!  Cropping just made the composition well balanced. 

You might had a question why don't I use longer telephoto lens?  Well, I have no time and no lens!  As they move together, I snap this picture.  They move quickly and can't be asked to do the pose again!  They aren't model that will pose for you!  This pose is happens for split seconds, and that's it.  No more.

Why don't I set my lens to 55 mm?  Setting my lens to 55 mm will result in smaller aperture opening, which means more exposure time and blurry image. 

TIP: I already set my camera at Aperture Priority of f/3.5, ISO-1600 and automatic exposure time when I enter the dark Sydney Aquarium to get perfect exposure while maintaining maximum shooting speed.  Therefore I wouldn't miss any chance of the funny fishy gesture.

Creative in using anything at your disposal - even distortion - to state your idea!

Make use distortion and falloff to create a good effect!  How can that be?  Well, please stare at this picture below titled: One of it's kind. 

one of its kind

A picture of rouge stone alone on the middle of leafs.  It just a stone with nothing interesting.  It is the falloff to that make this stone appears to glow and standing out from the crowd.  This picture also made me gaze for hours finding what exactly made this picture so interesting.  Then I knew it is the falloff that make the stone stand out of the crowd!  Falloff helps here!  I've been helped by distortion as well

David Njepaprut

That picture was heavily distorted!  However the distortion is what make this picture funny!

FYI, noises also could make a good effect as long as you knew how to use it!  So don't worry about them!  PS: please don't ask me, since I don't know how!

Blurs also could make a difference between a good and bad picture:

Racing ducks

It's the blur that makes the picture!  The blur makes the picture says: the ducks were moving really fast.  Without the blurs, it just a dead picture of frozen ducks without any story!

That were the wallpaper that I've used when this article written. 

Creative in finding ways to photograph!

Better camera and lens will help to overcome some limitation: when you cover wedding, off course you can't jack around the pastor to capture the best moment. You will need to stay on some distance. This is where you might need a longer lens.

Covering RMIT graduation also need a fast and long telephoto lens such as Canon 300 mm f/2.8. Because it is dark, far and you can't get close!

The picture below is taken using wide angle.  Not the correct way of using wide angle, however the girls on the picture loves it!  And that's the point of photography!

Jie Mei (Sisters)

These picture bellow is captured by a 10 years old girl, called Meilin!  She managed capturing people's expression at their funniest!

happy photographer

This image shows a very strong story!

happy kid

Those are pictures that was taken by a 10 years old girl!  Although there are some weakness in the composition, which I fixed, I felt that those images are very nice indeed!

Compare those image to the picture that I snapped!

Local artist can draw your picture in less than 10 minutes.  Just watch for his wife!

Local Painter

She is being Drawn by the local artist, cropping idea from my friend, Andy.

Being drawn

This hungry baby is my lovely nephew!

Hungry baby

A very cute expression from my 9 months old nephew!  Also shows a strong story!  FYI, he is eating our pizza!  Taken using Canon Digital IXUS i7.

Example of a boring picture

Parking lot in Shenzhen

Although this picture has plenty of dynamic lines, I feel this picture not creative as if I have seen a same picture before.  I honestly did not duplicate this picture from some other websites, however I engineer this picture to gave it dynamic angles.

Although some people says it is nice, I felt that this parking lot picture is boring!

Wing of Airbus A320

Love it or hate it!  This picture is my sister's favourite!

In conclusion

It is your idea that makes the photo.  When you saw a scene and have urge to take picture, the picture is already on your head.  The camera will be a tool to capture it for you!  Having a nice camera will help you to make a good picture, but doesn't guarantee your picture quality.  This is one of the example: my family owns a Yamaha U3 piano. 

The Yamaha U3 is a really nice piano, well made, expensive and sounds really well on a hand of a competent artists.  What a pity on my hand, it sounds like detuned piano, only a competent artists is capable to show it's true potential!  It is the same with a camera that requires competent user with creativity to result in different picture.  Learn to use most of your camera + open your creative idea, then you can make something!

That is why I try to make things here on this website as original as possible.  This is why you find some of my opinion and reviews here are very different to the other website. Moreover I also decided not to put any specification to the lens I reviewed here. It is waste of time and space, since manufacturer's website has all the specification!  What I wanted to give here is: what is my experience with the item I reviewed!  What makes it good, what makes it bad and therefore helping others with who wanted to get the item.