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Thread: How do you find inspiration?

  1. #1
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    How do you find inspiration?

    So, I've been sitting at home lately. And that's it. I've been working, and then on my days off have been sitting at home doing nothing. Reason is, I've been a little sick with the flu and have been trying to get better. I ventured out a few days ago and went for a drive up the mountains (posted up a couple of pics).

    Now I'm starting to feel much better and I'm feeling a bit more confident to show my face in the sunshine (or lack of it), but I face a problem. I want to get out and shoot away, but I can't seem to find any inspiration.

    I can't seem to find any ideas on where to go, what to shoot, what theme to pursue. This stays the same for when I'm indoors as well.

    Thinking about this, raised a question in my mind. What do you do to get inspiration?

    Personally, I try to think of an interesting mental image in my mind, and then decide how I'm going to get that photo. I usually end up diverting off on some weird tangent of that thought and coming up with something completely different, but at least it gives me inspiration to get shooting.

    Thoughts?

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    I heard a story (I believe it is true) of someone in your exact situation. They found a way to get exciting photos. I admit they had more time than you but they also needed inspiration and went to the moutains. They set themselves a time limit and an exposure limit. They found this forced them to take photos in ways and of things they would not normally take. It forced them to look about and only take that one good shot, not wasting shots. In their case, it was 1 roll of film, 1 photo per day.

    In your case (I assume) it is digital so we are not as limited and I assume a days outing ?. Maybe walk around and set yourself a goal of a maximum of 2 photos per hour and no 2 of the same item. This means you have to wander about and investigate. Lay on your back and look up, kick over some leaves under a tree, get a grounds eye view of a stream.

    I find I can't plan photos like these. I can't try and work out what I might take, I need to get there and look about. Maybe you could choose a theme like all black and white ? All macro ? All HDR ? Any more than that, I can't plan (Else I will get dissapointed when it does not work out).

    .. These are just a few idea's, it might help.

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    Curiosity is the cure from bordom. There is no cure from curiosity
    Copl

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    I watch too much National Geographic TV

    I am no way a good photographer, but what inspires me is what I see on this site. I see so many great pics from different genres and I go to do that so I can do it

    ATM it is waterfalls, Seascapes and long exposures, but looking at the BIRDS I am longing for a 50-500 as the 70-300mm is not long enough ) but then I might try some macro, I find that learning is what inspires me

    Sorry I probably was no help at all
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    Great ideas team. I like the idea of setting a challenge/theme.

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    I'm in the same Boat at this moment in time, Cant get going at all , It'll come back , It always comes back
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




  7. #7
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    I pretty much use the same couple of solutions. Over time I have build up a little list of URL's of members and googled photographer's (mostly Landscape theme) who tend to inspire me and when I am at a bit of a loose end and lacking, I hit the forum and url's to view the new photos, this is generally followed by an outing to try and capture a shot with the same wow. Have not got the wow yet but I can see my phases of improvement and each time I learn a little more. I tell myself to never be discouraged even on the days I come home and pretty much dump all the shots :-) - works for me.

    I also try to have one lunch break each week or so (hard to find time these days) in the city where I restict myslef, like going out with just the camera and the 50mm bolted on - this is the most challenging thing for me as I am not the artisitic type and really have to ry hard to capture a shot I like. It is like an education day for me.
    Please be honest with your Critique of my images. I may not always agree, but I will not be offended - CC assists my learning and is always appreciate

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    Canon 5D3 - Gripped, EF 70-200 L IS 2.8 MkII, , 24-105 L 4 IS MkI, 580 EX II Speedlite, 2x 430 Ex II Speedlite


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    I headed out today for a drive. Just decided to see where it would take me. I ended up taking nearly all the backroads between Blue Mountains, Lithgow, Bathurst and Oberon. Big day of driving. Heaps of fun and explored a bunch of places I've never seen before. I set myself a theme to get landscape photos. Rolling hills, spaced out trees, large granite rocks.

    Unfortunately, I didn't get many photos that I like. In fact, I didn't get many photos because I was driving so much, but the point is, setting myself a theme allowed me to focus on one thing and only see that thing while I was out and about. It was still fun at the end of the day.

    Anyone else?

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    Inspiration for me usually comes by seeing 'wow-factor' images.

    It inspires me to get out and shoot, as sometimes the motivation just isn't there.

    I cannot predict when ideas and inspiration will tap me on the shoulder; I just have to respond appropriately when it happens.

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    Hi
    I have two friends who also love photography and we get together each month to share photos with each other that we have taken that month on a chosen theme. On our first get together we all brainstormed a bunch of themes and wrote them on bits of paper. Each meeting we draw a new theme out of a hat and off we go! Some of the themes we have had include water, three, portrait, structures and pets. You could do something similar by yourself. Collect a variety of ideas from magazines, books, this site etc and put them all into a box. Draw one out and have a go! Sometimes it can really force you out of your comfort zone! Hope this idea helps. It works for my friends and I.

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    Member smallfooties's Avatar
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    Hello there!
    I like to look at images from other people - could be paintings, photos, etc.
    If i see something i like... i'd try to copy it for starters then when i'm successful with the technique that caught my eye in the first place, i then incorporate my own style.
    It's like when i looked through Michiko Kon's book of pictures - the one where she uses raw seafood and attached them to everyday things like hats and shoes etc... i ended up dissecting frozen feeder rats that you can get from a pet shop and took pictures of the dissection process.. of cos no body part was wasted cos i just fed it to my ferret...

    Nikon D700 in all it's glory!

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Thanks smallfooties, I'm sure that will inspire many not to get a ferret

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    whahahahahaa oops!!!!!

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    Hi,
    Some great ideas here, especially like ktoopi's idea with the pick a subject out of a box, this would work well for me as i tend to stick with the areas and subjects I feel comfortable with and lack the push to go that extra step, so tomorrow I will write all subjects etc I usually steer clear of and get this moving, thanks

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    Member AmyK's Avatar
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    I normally just browse Tumblr :P

    Canon 400D | 60mm f2.8 | 18-55mm | 75-300mm| 50mm f1.8 | 430EXII | Photoshop CS4
    Helpful & Honest Critique/Advice appreciated

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    I sometimes feel as you do, I start by taking a photo of myself, which always inspires me to look for a better subject.

  17. #17
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    <harsh but true>

    If you have to search for inspiration, you are looking in the wrong places.

    You need to find out what it is that inspires you.

    Hint: it needs to be something worthwhile, something with a power and beauty of its own, something subtle and variable, something that changes every day.

    For me, birdlife does it. But so do most things in the natural world - flora, landscapes, the play of light on trees. You need to find your own subject, the subject that just keeps you going and going and never seems to get tired or jaded. If you can't find a subject that you care about that much, well, maybe photography is not for you.

    If you aren't seeing something you like enough that you would walk around and look at it for hours even if you weren't holding a camera, you are in the wrong place.

    </harsh but true>
    Tony

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

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    Hi All,

    I am sometimes in the same boat. I went out and had one of my best photos ( to me) put on a 1000 by 500 mm canvas and put it up where I would walk past it alot. Then someone saw it and bought it. That worked for me. Also that last sentence that Tony wrote (above) is quite true. If you like photography alot it will come back , dont push it.

    Cheers Fisher

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    I have a display folder with 8x12 prints from when I began til now. I often browse through it to see the progression of my skills. Mostly it encourages me to continue progressing, but also on occasion I start to think the images are becoming stale and I need to try something a bit different.
    Canon 50D - Zuiko 28/2.8 50/1.8 100/2.8 - Tokina 11-16/2.8

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    I try to think of ways of making myself uncomfortable then, doing my best to start to feel - at ease in that situation.

    EG. Hanging off a rock at Bombo headland in pitch black was unnerving - but it forced me to think creatively.

    Walking up to complete strangers - female and way outta my league trying to make friends. Again, a very nervy situation that forces me to think differently.

    Hanging out with a bunch of Nikon users....
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