Sometimes, you just don’t have time to spend with a personal creative project. Sometimes, your weekend consists of 13 hour days at work, and you’re too tired to pull out the camera.
So try taking photographs without one.
Composition is a visual exercise; no camera is needed. You can do it anywhere: driving your car, sitting at your desk, or almost anywhere.
Take a look around you and pretend you have your camera with you. What would you take a picture of? How would you frame it? How do the compositional elements come together? Picture all of this in your mind and say "click".
You’ve just taken a mental photograph.
Sure, you say, that’s all well and good, but how do I show it to people?
That’s not the point. The point is to learn, to practice, to grow in your own personal creativity.
There’s a story that’s been going around for a few years about a basketball experiment. I have no idea if it’s true or not, but it doesn’t really matter.
Three groups of people were taken to a gym, the story goes, and asked to shoot a series of free throws. They were then divided up into three groups.
The first group did nothing. The second came to the gym every day for a month and practiced free throws for 30 minutes.
The third group was told to think about free throws. Visualize it in their minds. See themselves step up to the line, see the ball leave their hands, see if fall effortlessly through the hoop. Nothin’ but net.
After 30 days, they were tested again. The first group showed zero improvement, which was expected. The second, the group that practiced for 30 minutes each day, improved by 95%.
The third, the visualization group, improved by 90%.
This can easily be applied to photography. How many times have you heard "it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer"? How much effort goes into creating a photograph before you even pick up the camera?
Give it a try. It’s important to say "click" (you can say it to yourself, if you’re self-conscious) so that you have that feeling of completion and accomplishment. "Click" means that you’re happy with your composition and ready to take the image.
Visualize it. Practice it. Create art.