Inspirations for Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by missclareski, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. missclareski macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    I'm currently wanting to go out taking pictures, but lack any idea as to where I want to go to shoot. I have the drive and motivation to shoot, but lack any inspiration.

    So this brings me to my question, similar to a case of Writer's Block, how do you try to overcome any lack of inspiration when you want to shoot pictures? Do you have a certain location you tend to return to and look for a new perspectives to think outside of the box? Ask friends to model for you? First try to determine themes and then choose subject or location after?

    It doesn't matter the type of photography because this could impact any and every photographer.

    :)
     
  2. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    Location:
    NY
    #2
    For me, finding a location to shoot that doesn't become boring after 5 mins is hard to find on Long Island that is close to me.
    Anyone know of any good sites. All the parks you need to pay entrance fees which are ridiculous expensive especially if you only want to go for a half hr or so....
    Perhaps getting a new lens to try out...
     
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
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    Folding space
    #3
    Whenever the weather here in the Pacific Northwest happens to give me a day of shootable light, I just take my camera and go somewhere. I like to shoot outdoors stuff and live in a place where there is a lot of it. I have a seasons pass to National Parks throughout the country. I live about an hour from Mt. Rainier National Park in one direction and the Nisqually Delta National Wildlife Refuge in the other. Sometimes I just go to the campus of Pacific Lutheran University which is 15 minutes away. It's nothing really special, but the small businesses and such in the area always seem to have something going on. Small towns are fun, too. I can get really stuck inside, so I just go. I don't really worry about what I'm going to shoot.

    Dale
     
  4. missclareski thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #4
    This is my main problem too... but then there are some places with lots of character and vibrancy due to high tourism, being that I live in Orlando, but those areas I don't usually like to be in because of the crowds of people (a pain to park, a pain to notice small details, a pain to try to take a picture when people are walking across the frame every 2 seconds) and sometimes would be a bit sketchy when by myself.
     
  5. Maxxamillian macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #5
    Go to Dictionary.com and grab the "word of the day."

    Creatively interpret and shoot.:D
     
  6. emorydunn macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #6
    I simply try and see the world in new ways. As I go about my day I look at every rock and in every tree and just check to see if there is something interesting. Sometimes I won't even take a picture of it but if I can just let my mind jump from one thing to the next, from a rock on the ground to something else then I consider that a success.
     
  7. OrangeCuse44 macrumors 65816

    OrangeCuse44

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    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #7
    Where on LI are you? I'm not aware of any parks that charge you to go into? I love Jones Beach, personally.

    For me, I never go to a place specifically to shoot, but rather have my camera with me and if I see something that catches my eye, I shoot. I feel as if you are going somewhere just to take photographs, you are forcing the issue. For example, driving home from the train station this evening, the sky was all kinds of orange and yellows. Once I pulled up to my house, I sprinted inside, grabbed my camera and ran around the block and just shot some compositions with the sky as the main focal point.

    The beauty to me about photography, is inspiration is all around you. You can make anything look beautiful regardless of how mundane. This is where you truly test and hone you skills, making something great out of nothing. I'm sure if you just go outside into your yard, you could find a million things to photograph. Once you get rolling, it comes much easier.
     
  8. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #8
    An interesting problem: motivation without inspiration...

    Presumably you don't have to take pictures. It's a hobby. If you're not enjoying it, put the camera away, and spend your leisure time doing something you love to do instead...

    I'm going on a two-day hike this morning, and the camera goes with me. I simply couldn't imagine being out in the wilds, in changing light, without being able to stop and take pictures.

    Take the pressure off yourself, and look at your immediate surroundings with fresh eyes. Be a tourist in your own home town. Take a bus downtown and pretend you've ever been there before.

    If you find something that fires your passion and imagination, pick up your camera again. If not, put it on eBay and pick another hobby.
     
  9. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #9
    I write. Fiction. This helps me to start thinking creatively.
     
  10. missclareski thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #10

    Perhaps my choice of words did not get my problem across in that I *want* (thus, my "motivation") to take pictures... I love taking them and want to that very second go out and shoot, I just have trouble figuring out where to start. Maybe it's not the lack of opportunity for great photos, but the vast variety... thus the limitless possibilities make me search for where I may have the most success and thus stumping me from the get-go.

    I really need to carry around my camera so often, and unfortunately lately I haven't been able to because I've been swamped with school and work and don't want to leave my camera in a hot car while I'm busy. I've missed many moments and objects I've wanted to photograph because of this. Now that my semester has ended, hopefully I can be a bit more spontaneous with my photography sprees.

    Thanks everyone so far for the great ideas and comments! LOVE the idea of the word of the day because you can still choose the connotation/tone as well as subject matter. Very clever!!
     
  11. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502

    ComputersaysNo

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #11
    Maybe widening your view by narrowing down your view. Only take pictures of subjects you really like to cover. Investigate first before you start shooting.

    There are so many ways of covering a subject with photography.

    If you walk arround and take pictures of everything, you will only develope a better eye for random pictures. They will improve, but subjectwise they will lack of interest.

    To get better and stand out, my opinion is that you should focus on only one or two subjects at the time. Otherwise you will get distracted and that is what inspiration is all about, too much distraction. Having a nice picture of an animal does not mean you should focus just on that. Perhaps a good picture of an animal isn't all that difficult and probably a lot of people can do the same.

    pictures like these: http://www.nigelshafran.com/ may look like random pictures, but the photographer is actually investigating a way people behave.

    Social interaction within a family: http://katrinadautremont.com/PHOTOGRAPHS/Si_dios/Sidios_statement_page.html

    The way you dress, or decorate your house or the way you do your housekeeping can tell al lot about someone, without the person actually being shown: (click on the book) http://www.lisesarfati.com/03portfolio/portfolio.shtml

    Documenting Nomads by photographing their shot-up targets: http://www.richardmosse.com/photography.php?pid=4 (realize that it goes beyond the first impression that they just like to shoot stuff... some psychology involved as in most photography)

    I also saw a series once of ten photo's of flattened grass. It looked ridiculous at first. But then i read the captions. They were photo's of sleepingspots of deer.

    Some guy i know takes photo's of lost gloves. He also made a series of broken neon-signs for example: A.PLE or H.WLETT PA.KARD (He was making a point that company's who makes millions of money, couldn't find time to maintain their signs, the first thing people see when approaching the company)

    Sometimes ideas sound weird or farfetched, but their originallity stands out and show that the photographer investigated first, and then took the photo's. Not being bothered by other distracting subjects.

    If you like cars, perhaps making a series of drivers, or maybe a series of drivers by photographing their helmets, or follow one (ask) for a week/month and document his/her daily life. Make a story out of it with a beginning and an end. This concept you can use on basically anything.

    Approach subjects as an investigator or journalist and you'll see that there's more to it, than just a good picture.

    *My whole opinion is based more or less on documentary & autonomous photography, the stuff i like :D
     
  12. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Location:
    At home
    #12
    Well you could try entering the fortnightly challenge or the weekly contest.

    Both are good although the fortnightly challenge does allow more than one photo and feedback is encouraged. That may give you a focus point (pun intended) and get you looking at stuff again but in a new light.

    The challenge can be found in my signature down there somewhere. :)
     
  13. missclareski thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #13

    Fantastic! Thank you!! I have this problem in general, having so many different artistic hobbies instead of just focusing on any one. Same goes for my favorite types of photography... macro, abstract, photojournalism.... out of all of them, photojournalism is probably my favorite like for you, but I'm not sure about going around taking pictures of random people, which is the whole idea. But this could possibly get me into a lot of trouble or could lose its natural-ness if you ask for permission first. When I have special events going on, or am just around family... I'm always taking pictures of them doing their thing. I love it. I love documenting life and its smaller moments.


    And Chappers, I think I just might start with those challenges to get back into an artistic mindset! :)
     
  14. SayCheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    #14
    I generally go to websites and look up other peoples work and then use that as inspiration. Doesn't have to be anybody I know either.

    I love http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/ just keep hitting refresh and eventually you're bound to see an image you like. Then I use that as inspiration.
     
  15. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #15
    Near the worst apple store in apple history, walt whitman :p
    I've been to the Huntington bay, Cold Spring Harbor, heckscher park in Huntington.
    Got any suggestions?
     
  16. OrangeCuse44 macrumors 65816

    OrangeCuse44

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #16
    Well, are you looking to shoot specific things? Like flowers for example? I guess it's weird, but I rarely go out with a goal to shoot something specific. I just look around and when something catches my eye I go with it.
     
  17. IntelliUser macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2009
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    Why does it matter?
    #17
    Hot Chicks. And then any scenery will be gorgeous.
     
  18. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #18
    That is crazy, another PNW'er in here.

    Inspiration. You know, what really helps me is music. No joke. I drive a ton. I guess what I lack in skills i make up in perseverance:eek: I just drove 1100 miles this last weekend. Most of the music i listen to is 80s, and kind of mellow stuff. Bruce Hornsby, Mike & the Mechanics, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis. etc.

    Another draw for inspiration is to improve! I will go back to the same spot until I am happy. That may be costly (renting a car, driving 700 miles, gas, etc), but it is worth it, to me anyways.

    Also looking at others' work. I really enjoy Marc Adamus's work. I met him some years ago (5-6). Crazy he is a little younger than I. (I am 30). Just got to practice and practice. I mean all the practice in the world won't make you a Galen Rowell, but will help!

    Just last night I hike 5 miles up Larch Mountain (Multnomah Falls) in 2 hours to take 13 pictures. It was raining and muddy. It was a hard hike, all uphill on the way up! They were all 10-30 second exposures, in the rain. I am in flipflops and shorts, laying in the water. This is one of the shots.
     

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  19. Stratification macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    #19
    Usually I just start walking, trying to take approaches I haven't before. Walk behind places I found interesting before, choose right instead of left, etc. Or, alternatively, return to a place I enjoyed shooting previously and just sit down for a while. I've found that in many situations a little patience can do amazing things. I've come away with some great shots I missed while strolling past.
     

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