Somewhere there's a wide demarcation between between novice and experienced expert and this where many photographers have a revelation that they should to become more creative. Brenda Tharp addressed her work to this reader. A major question raised by this book is whether someone can be taught to become creative. The author deems this answer to be a yes, although she admits that it the photographer must work extremely hard to arrive at that point.
The book both begins and ends with the book attempting to impress upon you that learning to see is the enigma to creativity. Although as you read through the book there are some chapters on subjects such as light, composition and perspective seem amazingly like many other books on photography that are anxious about technique rather than with creativeness. Tharp's style is to supply you with a rule such as "simplify" and then proceed describe simplify to you. She does this rather well and the images she supplies certainly shows off her creativity, but somehow it's difficult to wrap your head around these rules and increasing our creativity.
There are a number of approaches to coaching photographic creativity.
Niall Benvie In "Creative Landscape Photography", discusses different subject matters one may come across, such as wilderness, and then he discusses what that subject meant to him and the method he used to
interpret what he saw and felt into a photo.
Tony Sweet In "Fine Art Nature Photography: Advanced Techniques and the Creative Process" introduce us to a series of images and a storyline for each one that enlightens us on what he was attempting to accomplish with the photo and the techniques he employed to accomplish it.
Freeman Paterson in "Photography and the Art of Seeing" writes in a warm milk and cookies style, and supply a number of unique tasks that are created to instruct a photographer the art of seeing.
Not one of these books really teach creativity although they show creative images and the significance of what the authors were thinking about in creating their effort. Whether any procedure works in increasing creativity is an unanswered question. If in fact, creativity can be learned, which of the authors' methods that will work the best is dependent upon the individual photographer. A serious photographer might want to examine them all until a method is found that works. Certainly, Tharp's book is one that is high on the list of this challenging question.
Jan 24, 2011