My beautiful wife wanted to go to a tourist attraction called Mølen for her birthday. She loves the ocean and finds this place very soothing. We brought the kids, left the dog with a plastic bone at home, and packed the X-T3 – because there just had to be some photo opportunities there. It just had to. And I had to take some photos. I had to. Even if my photo inspiration was little to none and we went in the middle of the day, with a huge, overly bright sun hanging above us, I was going to take some photos.

It was beautiful. The blue ocean, waves washing across the rocks, the sound of pebbles being dragged out towards the water again in the aftermath of a wave, the smell, the wind, even the sun, – it was all gorgeous. But lovely surroundings doesn’t always make for great photos, and having the energy level of a pine cone in the middle of winter doesn’t help either. I tried taking a few shots, even filmed a bit to make a behind the scenes kind of youtube video for the occasion, the harsh sun and lack of alluring objects made me question the whole thing; do I really have to bring my camera all the time? Why can’t I just experience something pretty without having to spend most of my energy fiddling with gear? As my inspiration dwindled into the rocks beneath me I switched to a black-and-white film simulation on my camera, and as I wrote in my post about film simulation, I immediately found some much-needed energy to keep going.

Then my son started throwing rocks into the water, which gave me an idea. I made him stand in front of me and drop rocks into the frame.

Then in post I cropped the photo a little:

And it came out quite nice. I’m not going to put it on my wall or anything, but from nothing at all to this is a step in the right direction.

Taking photos either straight into the sun or having it in the frame at all, was making it harder to get anything other than silhouettes.

And the queen herself, the birthday girl & love of my life 🙂

My creativity is the first thing to go when my energy level is down. Still, sometimes I get a boost of energy if I can just get going, be it with photography or writing, exercise, or whatever. I just need some help or tricks to get over that first hump.

Tips to trigger creativity

A few tricks to trigger creativity when you don’t feel like taking photos:

  • Use film simulations. I know I keep on repeating this, but seriously – try it. If your camera doesn’t have glorious film simulations like the Fujis, they surely have some sort of picture profile. Try them out.
  • Take a photo challenge, like just taking black-and-white photos, shoot street photos, landscape, food photography, etc.
  • Use one focal length only or just one lens, preferably one you don’t use as much. You might see things differently.
  • Use an analog camera.
  • Take a trip to a place you haven’t been to before.
  • Try different lenses on the same subject. Use a telephoto lens at the long end as a portrait lens. Use a wide-angle lens for funny portraits.
  • Try taking in-camera-panoramas. Sometimes it looks good. Sometimes.
  • Try multiple exposures, if your camera supports it.
  • Use a miniature model, like @propelluft

What are your best tips for boosting creativity?