Any one that regularly pursues a creative outlet, through writing, painting, photography or anything really, have probably hit that proverbial wall where they are stumped for the next inspiration and idea. In my photography I have been a victim of photographer’s block many times.  It can either manifest itself in a lack of desire to go out and photograph or a lack of inspiration when I do go out.  Nothing strikes me as photographable.

So what do you do when you hit that creative wall?  One solution I ran across recently is a 60 minute photo challenge based on a pre-determined theme.  Essentially you assign yourself a theme and give yourself 60 minutes to photograph anything that falls into that theme.  Your theme can be anything you can dream up from something very simple like red to a little more complex and abstract like memory.  Once you have a theme in mind head out to a good location and shoot whatever strikes you as being related to your theme for 60 minutes.  You are free to stray if your theme inspires you beyond its original parameters, but it can also be a challenge to really limit yourself to just that one theme.  It can help you see things in a new light that your creativity block may have been preventing you from seeing.

Photograph of a basketball hoop.
f/9.0- 1/200 sec – ISO 100 – Focal Length 90 mm

This exercise can also work just as a personal challenge even if you are not at a loss for photography ideas.  It will allow you to step outside of what you normally do and push your creativity.  I have started a list of themes to have ready for the next time I have 60 minutes to spare or next time I am feeling up against a creativity block.

Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Colors: red, blue, green, orange…you get the idea
  • Shapes: round, square, triangles, etc.
  • reflections
  • shadows
  • repeating patterns
  • texture

I did my first 60 minute challenge this weekend with the theme of round. So I decided to continue that theme all week and each Photo of the Day this week will be from my round photo shoot this weekend.

You can also check out a video from Adorama TV that discusses the concept of a 60 minute photo challenge more.

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