by Mike McNamee Published 01/08/2016
Kuler searches for Bahaus (top) and Cuba (bottom)
So, having established that you are unlikely to be able to take a pill to make yourself more creative, what does the creatively challenged photographer do when faced with an unfulfilled brief? Even if the intended image is just for personal satisfaction or for competition, how do you create an image that causes a panel of judges to gasp and go looking for the 90 buttons. One way is to cheat. The word is used advisedly for cheating can take many forms and others might call it 'research'. In a nutshell, research is attempting to trigger new ideas by studying what has been done before. This used to be done by creatives by keeping 'tear sheets' in the back of a filing cabinet of anything that had caught their eye (which they tore out of the magazine, etc). Today with Pinterest, Behance, and the like, this process has been much expanded right out to a global scale, with previously unimaginable abilities to search the world for ideas. We are arguably unique in our creative industry in this regard; Einstein undoubtedly had one of the most creative brains of all time (he was also dyslexic btw) but did not have the luxury of visiting a gallery with equations framed on the wall and thinking 'If I just rearrange e, m and c, and drop a square in, I might be on to something'.
Our problem is not unique, but rare (writers have the same issues); it has spawned an industry of 'assistants' to help us along our way. We have already mentioned Pinterest and Behance but more on that later, let's take a look at something more simple - Kuler.
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