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Creative photography is difficult to define. It has no universally agreed description or precise dividing line that separates the genre from all others. The real usage of the term is confused, and overlaps with other genres are numerous. However, a brief discussion my be worthwhile in the context of the categorizations used on this website.

All photographers are creative to some extent, at least at the most basic level of "creating" pictures. A photographer decides to use a camera, points it at something of interest and releases the shutter. An image is taken and the photographer is an essential part of the creation process. However, the level of creativity involved is very small and the process does not fall within most descriptions of creative photography.

The description of work as ceative becomes more justified as the level of input from the photographer increases. A creative photographer has trained his or her eyes to see things that others might not. Walking across a field of ripening wheat at sunset, a creative worker might see glowing ears of wheat backlit by warm low-angle light. Those whose perception is less acute might typically see nothing more than a footpath, some wheat and a sunset. A creative photographer may be found lying on the ground and peering up at a subject that others see only from normal head height. Why? Because the possibility of an interesting image based upon unusual perspective has been spotted. Within many descriptions of the genre, this might qualify as creative work.

If this broad description of creative photography is adopted, considerable overlap with other genres must be accepted. Any image captured in an imaginative way might be categorized under the creative banner, including some subjects also accepted, for example, as portraiture, flora. abstract, sport etc.

For the purposes of this website the Society has adopted what is perhaps the strictest definition of creative work which, it must be admitted, also implies overlaps and hence remains far from precise. This definition uses as its guiding principle the extent to which the work is fictional. A portrait of almost any nature is not regarded as creative because it depicts a human being - even if the subject is wearing a mask or photographed in an imaginative manner. However, a shot of a red rose thrown on to the ground and leaking a pool of red blood would be regarded as a creative image because it is clearly fictional. For this reason, the creative genre of this website incorporates relatively only a few subcategories, including abstract, conceptual, bokeh etc.

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