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September 22nd, 2017 … More About The Anatomy of the Creative Block

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So we get the idea about how the brain makes preconceptions and I suppose forces us to live by them. Thin of it as like Presets for Light Room. Your working and then something tells you to click a preset. See, using presets is a safe way to achieve a desired starting point for the photo. The brain make presets too and when you work, the presets from the brain kinda guide your work. If after a period of time goes by and you are letting the brain use presets, what will happen is you will feel that you aren’t seeing anything interesting and if you do, it’s boring because for some reason, it just seems like canned laughter. This is a true situation that most of us will have to deal with. Ok, what we need to do is first recognize that we have a brain that’s working. Hey don’t laugh. I see countless people working and doing things and their brain is not working. Don’t believe me? Just look at Washington DC and Congress to start. ….and they get paid the big bucks and benefits.

Ya know how like a title detracts from the photo for the viewer. A descriptive title like, man on beach creates a preconception for the viewers brain and the first thing the viewer does, is looks for the man on the beach. There probably are other  elements in the photo and maybe the viewer will discover some but at this point, it’s a battle of eye travel. Well, that’s what the brain does.

So, we are out shooting and feeling a creative block. This is a scary time and there are a few ways to get past it. The problem is that there is no set time for a creative block to start and worse, stop. Seems to me thru the decades, I have been in a block many times. I talked with writers, painters, photographers and never really got the perfect solution to find my way out of the woods. There’s no set formula for dissolving the block. See, if your in a creative block, your going to have to fight the brain and it’s a hard fight.

The brain likes a creative block because it’s comfy and no challenges are happening. That there is our solution. What I find to work in a matter of fashion, is to challenge the brain. Make the preconceptions and presets get nervous and for the brain to work again. This may not be pretty but is necessary. Some say if you do street, then go do portraits as an example. There’s a problem with that. What needs to happen is to retrain the brain of what it already knows but teach it to think again. We need to teach the brain to think about what it knows but to seek a different result. If the brain keeps doing the same things over and over but thinks it’s gonna find a different result, I’m told by my shrink that is insanity. So, how to et the brain to rethink what it knows and allow something new to be borne?

There is another entity that we have and this entity has a symbiotic relationship with the brain.

I will tell about this next post over the weekend. For now, I am going on autopilot and letting my brain take a few vacation days.

end transmission…………………………………………………………………………….

7 thoughts on “September 22nd, 2017 … More About The Anatomy of the Creative Block

  1. Like with Lightroom, we use presets to simplify our work and because we want to give consistency to it. But sometimes as you said, it’s a lazy path. Your brain gets lazy. That’s where I got trapped doing again (and again…) the same thing. The same kind of picture. That’s why I’m trying to be more curious in the streets lately and shoot different things that I didn’t dare shooting.Just to name few, reflections (you inpired me with your shots Don) and very low angle shots (Yiannis Yiasaris an aussie-greek street shooter you might know). As you said, we have to feed the brain with new stuff.

    Very helpfull series Don ! Waiting for the next !

    • Jeff, thanks….

      It seems to me here in Philly, that the basic scene stays close to the same. So, perhaps looking out there for something new is harder then looking inside and changing one’s thought patterns…. just saying my friend….
      ne w post shortly

    • Jeff,
      ….absolutely truth… the changes that will come should be internal, it’s the best way to readjust things on the outside….

  2. Just my view Don but equally I find sometimes to get over the block I look for different subjects or at least something outside of the comfort zone so as to make it difficult for myself and to challenge the brain. I find sometimes the best way to do that is to go into a different environment say like a different town; its like sorting someone else issues is easier than sorting out our own.

    Thanks Again

  3. It’s tough, but I try to keep working through a block. I might be on auto pilot while it’s happening, but something happens that wakes me up and I am ok again. Until the next time….

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