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As Garr Reynolds suggests in Presentation Zen:

“Being creative does not mean wearing a black turtleneck and hanging out in jazz cafés sipping cappuccinos. It means using your whole mind to find solutions. Creativity means not being paralyzed by your methods and knowledge, but being able to think outside the box (sometimes very quickly) to find solutions to unforeseen problems.”

You can become a very fine technical photographer by understanding the rules (exposure, focal length, and so on), but creativity comes in knowing when to break those rules, even if you’re not exactly sure why. When your creative voice says, “Wow, that’s an amazing waterfall,” don’t think, “Darn, it’s noon and it’s harsh, specular light, so there’s no point in taking a picture,” or, “Oops, I left the better lens back in the car.” Instead, listen to that voice. It sees something: something that may be technically wrong but artistically right. What if you take that waterfall and transfer it to mill finish aluminum so that the specular contrasts sparkle? Or an image of a haystack under gray skies then glows warm after you transfer it to canvas? Or a Halloween snapshot of a grandson becomes an affirmation of imagination in black and white when you transfer it to glass as a pearloid?

As my favorite Vulcan often said, “There are always possibilities.” Listen to your creative voice and learn to see them.

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