Here are a selection of papers relating to the conceptualisation or previsualisation of images 

"Getting creative ideas and how to apply them". By Michael Smyth

Those people lucky enough to possess a natural gift for creativity often fail to understand how the rest of us struggle to find ideas that work for expressive or creative image making.  Asking creatives how they come up with ideas is often pointless, most naturally gifted creatives I know just “get” ideas from somewhere. 

 For the rest of us who have to work at getting ideas, this presentation is for you.  This started out as a 10 point plan, but expanded into 17 points as I started working on them.  Here are my points in no particular order:   Read more...

"Ten top tips for creative image making". By Michael Smyth

In no particular order, here are my ten main points to keep in mind when trying to make expressive and creative images.  NO RULES !

Forget about “rules” in photography, there aren’t any !  Don’t be confused by artificial constraints that clubs and exhibition committees put on image entries.  Many of these are created to placate special interest groups.  For instance, when colour image making became popular and accessible, many traditional black and white workers thought they would be disadvantaged in competitions and exhibitions, so they lobbied for a separate category for “colour” and now have the artificial distinction of “Colour” and Monochrome” images.  Things become difficult when some image makers want to use a combination of colour and monochrome in their images.  The same goes for all of the other categories that have sprung up in camera clubs and exhibitions.  Read more...

“The art of seeing”.  By Des Crawley

Weston goes on to declare, wisely, that photography is ''seeing plus: seeing alone would mean factual recording -- the illustrator of catalogues does that.''  That inexplicable ''plus'' is what elevates Weston's work into the realm of eroticism and sensuality that gives it the breath of life. ''But after all, Ansel,'' Weston wrote, ''I do not fear logic, I dare to be irrational.''

Learn about the art of seeing as a photographer and how “seeing” is applied to the image creation process.  Read More...


“A New Approach to Evaluating Photography”.  By Jim Crew with additional material by Des Crawley

Almost since camera clubs first appeared their format has remained virtually unchanged. The club monthly competition has followed the same path forever. The members enter their photographs, a visiting expert comments on the photographs and hands out awards based on their expertise, influences and biases.

The comments provided by the visiting judge tend to follow a well worn pattern loaded with clichés and often based on what is expected rather than appropriate. We often hear a judge make comment based on standards that are well established and on which there is too much reliance. These comments generally relate to the rules of club photography and do little to progress the art.  Read More...


“Image Evaluation Workshops”.  By Jim Crew and Des Crawley.

The purpose of the Image evaluation sessions is to adopt a new way of discussing and evaluating images in a more cooperative and interactive forum, to allow open and honest discussion of ideas and encourage creative thinking and experimentation in image making.  Read More...


“Photographic Evaluation, a concise guide for evaluating photography”.   By Jim Crew

This comprehensive manual has been prepared by Jim Crew and is designed for everyone interested in understanding the process of evaluating photographs.    Read More...

Ten Top Tips for creative image making *.  By Michael Smyth

* a ten point guide for better creative image making:  In no particular order, here are my ten main points to keep in mind when trying to make expressive and creative images.  Read More...

In camera double exposure, Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandhu Nepal By Michael Smyth

In camera double exposure, Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandhu Nepal By Michael Smyth

Creative image making workflow graphic by Michael Smyth

Here is a simple graphic representing the steps and interrelationships between steps in the creative image making process: