New photographer in need of motivation/inspiration

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Argentis, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Argentis

    Argentis TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys and gals, I've been dabbling in photography off and on over the years. I think I've finally accepted that gear will only take me so far, and my eye needs to do the rest.

    I'm interested in landscape photography, since I enjoy seeing others' landscape photos (plus I'm too shy to approach strangers, but that's another thread). But the trouble is, I think I'm so used to everything I see every day that nothing really inspires me. I feel like I need to go somewhere else to take photos, and this kind of bugs me on some subconscious level. I enjoy getting out and taking photos, but they just seem so blah when I get home and get them on my computer, even though friends and family compliment my work.

    Has anyone else gone through this, and how did you get over it or around it?

    Thanks,
    Argentis
     
  2. nikonguy

    nikonguy TPF Noob!

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    we all go through it.. to get through it, i flickr search topics that i'm interested in shooting, and see what other people are doing in that topic... and it shows me some things that i maybe didn't think to do
     
  3. mosu84

    mosu84 TPF Noob!

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    I find the most interesting things in my area and try photographing them in different light (sunrise/sunset/night)
     
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I was just talking to someone about this the other day. I live in New England which has some really pretty scenery in pretty much every direction you want to look, but I'm so used to it that it seems generally uninteresting to me. I think it's just reality. You're used to what you're used to. My plan this summer was to try to drive around and hit areas of the state I'm not usually in and see if it jostles my brain a bit.
     
  5. Jeffrey Byrnes

    Jeffrey Byrnes TPF Noob!

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    Just get out, shoot, create photographs that are meaningful to you. And if you come across something you love then don't stop. If you have all the technical abilities down and need a subject to shoot, search out the work that you find the most captivating. See what other people are doing, and ask yourself, "how can I do this differently? how can I make this my own style?" The rest will come.
     
  6. chadsdphoto

    chadsdphoto TPF Noob!

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    No matter where you are there's something interesting to shoot. You've taken a step in the right direction just by realizing that you haven't thought of your surroundings as good subject matter. Try detaching yourself from the familiar and taking a look at your neighborhood as if it was the first time you've ever seen it.

    One of the exercises we did in photo classes way back in college was to randomly pick a 12 inch x 12 inch spot on the ground and then have to make an interesting picture in that space. It can be difficult, but it forces you to find something where there seems to be nothing.

    And if you really must travel somewhere to be inspired, check out South Dakota. I've got lots of suggestions for cool locations on my photo blog at www.dakotagraph.com.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with manaheim. It's because you're used to it. There are so many things to photograph where I live but I don't notice them since I see them everyday.I feel like I have to go somewhere where I don't usually go to find something new, usually Manhattan. But now I am trying to find a different perspective, and I try to get into all the abandoned building in my area. lol.
     
  8. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Something that might help is to play a mental game. [Please note! What follows is not my original thinking. I ran across it in a delightful book on photography many years ago.]

    Some fine morning, consider that your phone rings. The caller is the editor of a national magazine requesting that you submit, say, 5 pictures of your home town [or city] for a two-page spread. You have one day to do this.

    Another 'jog' for the mind is to change how you see things. I have a section of beach I wander every once in a while. Sometimes I have a 35mm rig with a 135mm lens. Sometimes I have an old 620 Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. Sometimes I have a home-made pinhole camera. Each rig changes the beach in an almost magical manner. The world looks quite different when viewed through a 2:3 frame at eye level as opposed to looking through your belly button and a 1:1 square frame.
     
  9. Argentis

    Argentis TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I actually came up with an idea to help me through this over the next month or so. I'm going to start with trying to get 5 interesting shots around the house, then next week widen my area to my block, then a couple more blocks, and so on to see if I can trigger something.

    I'll be on here with my results, and we'll see how it goes.

    Argentis

    Edit: Also, another issue may be that I enjoy seeing beach/seaside landscape shots, and the closest ocean is 1200 Km away :(.
     
  10. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    Thats a good idea actually. I think it would make for a great challenge in the challenge forums. As for the beach comment your going to have to get over that or start traveling :lol:

    I had the same issue with landscape shots in that I live in the Upstate NY and we have some really pretty areas that I take for granted. I just had to think of myself as a tourist basically.
     
  11. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    This is a great idea, and if you still find it not quite interesting enough....limit yourself to not just 5 "keeper" shots, but five or even three shots...period. Pretend you only have three remaining shots on your "roll of film". I find that this makes me really slow down and concentrate on getting my exposure and comp perfect. Its easy to spin the wheels and dials and blast away then download and pick your favorites. Metering the scene correctly and setting up the shot and getting the comp right can be challenging, fun, and a great accomplishment all in one.

    Derrick
     
  12. Brian L

    Brian L TPF Noob!

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    I have thought of this myself. You have to remember though you are telling people a story that millions of people have never seen. To me a picture from there might be worth a thousand words. I find myself not know what to shoot even though I like taking lots of shots of different things. So I tend to set assignments for myself. Ok this week I'm wanting to work on black and white photography. Hmm what would look good in black and white? Well old buildings or history things for example. Then I think of the local cities around me and check if there are any old buildings around and go do my assignment. Believe it or not this really inspires me to do photography and keep my passion for photography going. Try things like setting assignments and shooting things you like too. Also remember that if something is blah to you.... to me its worth a thousand words.....

    Hope this helps you some. Take care and have fun shooting...
     

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