Need to reenergize photography

TexasChemE

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 28, 2011
766
8
Hey guys, I need some advice. I wouldn't consider myself an amateur photographer, but I definitely wouldn't consider my self a pro or anything by any means. I feel that my photography has kind of hit a wall, and I wind up taking pictures of the same things and I feel like it has just gotten a little boring =/ I have a Nikon D90 with an SB-600 and a few lenses, and I just want a few tips on how I can reenergize/revamp my photography, because I really do love photography!

Thanks! :) Any help is appreciated!
 

TexasChemE

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 28, 2011
766
8
Take a nice vacation somewhere.
Find a new technique to try.
- painting with light
- tilt-shift photography
Rent a really nice lens from someplace like www.lensrentals.com
The vacation suggestion is a little out of the question (as much as I would love to though), but trying a new technique sounds like that will work. Thanks! Also, I did not know about lensrental.com, thanks for that!

Sell all your gear. Take up golf...
Haha....
 
Comment

Comeagain?

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2011
2,190
44
Spokane, WA
The vacation suggestion is a little out of the question (as much as I would love to though), but trying a new technique sounds like that will work. Thanks! Also, I did not know about lensrental.com, thanks for that!



Haha....
Yeah, Lensrentals.com is pretty cool. Lots of great lenses...to rent. Among other equipment.
 
Comment

initialsBB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2010
688
2
How about looking for a photo club in your region ? Seeing others work can do wonders to creativity. There are also lots of clubs that organize photo shoots with themes that you may not have thought of doing, which can help get out of a rut.
 
Comment

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,617
438
Redondo Beach, California
Take a nice vacation somewhere.
.....

I don't like that idea at all. If you have to go some place special to take photos, you are not really into photography.

Here is what you can do.....

Go to the library and pick up some large format coffee table books and look at the photos and find a style or a photographer you like. Maybe you like one of the old masters list Westin or some out more recent. Don't matter pick one or two or three.

Next, blatantly attempt to "rip off" their style. Don't worry this is how artists were trained for 3,000 years. First they copy a master and only later they develop their own style.

So like I said find a few styles or people you like and go out one day and shoot 20 to 40 exposures in that style. Run then through your "process" and keep the best 2 or 4 shots. Be VERY selective and only keep the best work. Compare there shots to the books and then try again.

You can find books of landscapes or portraits or even of food photography or animals. Pick a few books you like and don't worry about the ethics of emulating someone else, it has a strong tradition with art students.

That is the key. think of your self's an "art student". To many beginning photographers think about equipment and technical stuff. No study art.

One fun progect is to get a book of Rembrandt painting and try to shoot portraits that use light like Rembrandt did. Copy it exactly. Lok at the angles and the colors and the 'lighting ratio" that is the number of f-stops (or EV steps) different between light and shadows.
 
Comment

Zh2

macrumors member
May 21, 2011
68
0
In a house in England.
Hmmmm...

OK. You have 1 week and one week only. In that week you will produce, here, 7 images....

1. A rare car.
2. A good sunset.
3. A good portrait.
4. Something small and mechanical.
5. A bird.
6. Your house.
7. Your most treasured artefact. Old or new.

Get going - you have one week. Failure to produce will result in you giving me all your camera gear! :)

Regards.

Z
 
Comment

WRP

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2011
510
2
Boston
There are plenty of sites that have photography contests with certain topics. It makes you go out and think about your shots more and look around and find something to fit the topic. And they aren't always photography sites. I belong to a ski forum that has a photography/video subsection and we have contest that run 2 weeks at a time. Even if I don't get anything for a contest it still makes me get out and shoot more. And it makes me think and look at things differently in the hopes of finding something to fit the topic. And the absolute best thing about it? Is I get to see how everyone else interpreted it and captured the topic. It forces you to learn and look at things differently.

PS... there is a weekly one on this site too ;)
 
Last edited:
Comment

Comeagain?

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2011
2,190
44
Spokane, WA
I don't like that idea at all. If you have to go some place special to take photos, you are not really into photography.
But it gives you a good reason to go get pictures of something you haven't photographed yet. I agree, when you do the same thing everyday, at some point you have to say "I have enough pictures of birds outside my window. Maybe I should try something new". Now of course, if you are (or are studying to be) an ornithologist, you may want to keep taking pictures of birds. ;)

I just though of another one. Enter the MR weekly photo contests.
 
Comment

TexasChemE

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 28, 2011
766
8
A lot of good ideas here guys. Thanks a lot, I'm going to go out and try a lot of these things. :)
 
Comment

puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,246
473
NY
I know how the OP is feeling. I want to take pictures but I'm out of ideas more so of where to go. Anyone have some good suggestions on where to go on Long island. :confused:
 
Comment

someoldguy

macrumors 68000
Aug 2, 2009
1,983
5,552
usa
I know how the OP is feeling. I want to take pictures but I'm out of ideas more so of where to go. Anyone have some good suggestions on where to go on Long island. :confused:
How about Montauk , Fire Island , the North shore wineries , Coney Island , Brooklyn , Astoria , The East River , Sagamore Hill , Sunken Meadow.....
 
Comment

Dan--

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2008
237
23
There are plenty of sites that have photography contests with certain topics. It makes you go out and think about your shots more and look around and find something to fit the topic.
I agree. One place I think would be fantastic to get involved with is dpchallenge. I've never submitted there, but there are EXCELLENT challenges and some excellent photographers.

Very inspiring.

Dan
 
Comment

Ruahrc

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2009
1,345
0
There's also nothing wrong with setting photography aside for a little while. I think forcing it may lead to burnout.

If you find you don't have time or opportunity to shoot pictures often, you can also try other things to stay active in photography like advancing your post processing skills.
 
Comment

fireman32

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2010
509
30
Raleigh, NC
How about looking for a photo club in your region ? Seeing others work can do wonders to creativity. There are also lots of clubs that organize photo shoots with themes that you may not have thought of doing, which can help get out of a rut.
I 2nd this. I belong to 6 photo clubs in the area and they organize photo walks in areas I would have never thought about going to and i get a lot of inspiration from the other club members as well.
 
Comment

monokakata

macrumors 68000
May 8, 2008
1,887
396
Hilo, Hawai'i
Here's an exercise I learned about many years ago, and I still use it from time to time. Exercise is good.

Pick a space -- could be indoors, outdoors, in/out -- doesn't matter. It should be fairly small. Think something like an apartment or house, or a back yard, or even something like a garage or shed, a small grove of trees, a small pond.

Then spend an hour or two making images in that space only.

If you can't see interesting images in that space, no matter what it is, then work at it until you can. They are always there.

This exercises your eye more than your equipment, but when you get into it you'll see interesting things that may be difficult to capture. And that's good, because then you'll have to work hard technically.
 
Comment

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Yes, spending some time working in one space or with one subject can definitely be a useful technique. Take one subject and look at it, approach it from all perspectives and angles, use different lenses on it, think about how in post-processing you could also add in some special effects with filters and shoot with that idea in mind, too....in other words, bring the fun and the creativity back into photography.

Something else which usually works for me but isn't always practical or affordable is to purchase a new lens or even a new camera. Either of these then gets you out there shooting, and even if you're shooting the same subjects as you had before, you'll be using new equipment so there will be changes.

There are a lot of online sites which discuss photography and present different topics and challenges,and that is another way to harvest some ideas for those times when you want to shoot but creativity seems to have taken a walk....
 
Comment

Madvillain

Guest
Jan 15, 2008
101
0
I like going through workbooks and practicing the craft. It often leads to seeing the same things in new ways.

Here is an excellent practice book:
Amazon

Check it out.

-MS
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Comment

driftless

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2011
1,477
177
Chicago-area
If you feel comfortable doing this, teach someone photography. Seeing subjects through someone else's eyes can be illuminating. And, your preparation for your field trips might get your creative juices going.
 
Comment

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,617
438
Redondo Beach, California
I think everyone is saying the same thing. This is to create a well defined project that has clear boundaries and then execute that plan.

I said to find a book and learn to emulate the style of the images in the book. Some one else says to pick just one subject, or one location. Lots of ideas for well defined projects.

But to this I'll add that it must be broken into "chunks" Shoot no more then 100 frames and then stop, run them through your software and critically evaluate them. Then do it again. Shoot, process, evaluate, Shoot, process, evaluate.
 
Comment

bocomo

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2007
495
0
New York
Sit in a quiet room with no distractions. Examine a small object for 30 minutes, making a list of everything you notice about the object. Really see everything about that object. You might think you are done after about a minute but KEEP GOING!

Another little exercise to try is to go photograph and do your best to have no subject matter in the center of the frame. Not just putting the subject off center, but actually having NO subject matter in the center

Lastly, when students talk about having nothing to shoot, i give them this assignment: get a piece of paper and take 100 shots of it - any way you like!

Hope that helps
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.