What do you do when you lose your inspiration?

Samuel.z

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So i was out tonight to shoot some night photos in the city. After about 3 hours of just cruising around in my car i realized that i passed so many places that i'd love to shoot on a normal day but tonight i thought that everything looked dull.

What do you do in these situations? Do you pack your bags and just go home for the day or do you keep pushing it. This was one of those nights when i went out without any planning and just wanted to shoot some cityscape.

I ended up driving straight home after 3 hours without even picking up my camera once.

Now i feel like I've wasted an opportunity to shoot satisfying images.

But if i'm not having fun doing it why should i even bother.
 

480sparky

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I just pack everything away until the bug bites me again.
 

SquarePeg

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So i was out tonight to shoot some night photos in the city. After about 3 hours of just cruising around in my car i realized that i passed so many places that i'd love to shoot on a normal day but tonight i thought that everything looked dull.

What do you do in these situations? Do you pack your bags and just go home for the day or do you keep pushing it. This was one of those nights when i went out without any planning and just wanted to shoot some cityscape.

I ended up driving straight home after 3 hours without even picking up my camera once.

Now i feel like I've wasted an opportunity to shoot satisfying images.

But if i'm not having fun doing it why should i even bother.

I've done this a few times, and not just walking around but driving a couple of hours and not finding anything I wanted to stop and shoot. It happens. I try to have a goal in mind when I go out or at least a rough idea of what I want to shoot so that this doesn't happen as often. When it does, I just enjoy the alone time and look at is as therapy!
 

ZombiesniperJr

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Sometimes pack up sometimes keep looking for wildlife (i mainly take wildlife photos)
 

tirediron

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Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. Give it a little while, and if it doesn't come back on it's own, do a Google Image search on something random and challenge yourself to shoot something from that.
 
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Samuel.z

Samuel.z

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I just find it really hard to find a good composition during winter. I also have a hard time finding winter inspiration. Everything is just so...white...I guess i should set up a mini studio at home and play around there for a while.
 

KmH

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I change direction and get out of my 9 dots to get a perspective from a different angle.

It's been several years now but the last time I found myself in a rut spinning my wheels I bought some sketching paper with the intent that I would do some sketching. I don't sketch.

The sketching paper sat around for a couple of weeks, until I got an idea.

I thumb tacked some sheets of the sketching paper to a 20x30 piece of sheet foam board in a series of waves, set up an off camera hot shoe flash with a blue gel on it, and made this image:
PadArtC8-3-10D300A_0009.jpg


I cropped the top 1/3 off and had it printed, and I use the cropped edit as my desktop background:

PadArtC8-3-10D300A_0009 copy.jpg
 

zombiesniper

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The main reason I wanted the home studio is we have a month in the late fall/early winter where wildlife is for us is near impossible to find.
As for inspiration, he's 4 posts up and persistent.
 

table1349

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If you use one of these........You will never loose you keys, phone or inspiration. :biggrin-new:

Please do not post images to which you do not hold rights. You may post a link.
 
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SquarePeg

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nerwin

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I've been in the same boat for a while and probably will be for a while.

Like others have mentioned above, it just happens. Sometimes it will only be a few days or a few weeks or maybe even months before the inspiration comes back. It does happen, not just us either but famous photographers too. You think Ansel Adams never had a creative block?

When I'm not shooting, I'm still doing something with photography like reading books about photography, reading blogs and forums and just general research about this art. I get easily distracted and these activities don't seem to last long for me, haha. But I'm trying!

Another thing I love to do is just look at other photographers work, I browse Flickr DAILY. I'm constantly looking at photos of subjects I'm interested in and I'll skip a lot of them until something that stands out to me and I try to figure out why this particular photo resonates with me.

I live in Vermont and believe me, I know EXACTLY how you feel. Everything outside is grey, flat and boring. To make it worse, it's cold! But when it does snow, especially if it's heavy snow...man it sure is beautiful.

During winter, I don't take many photos. I tend to focus on the non-picture-taking side of photography like reading books, organizing my photos, website stuff and what not. This is okay, I talk to a lot of photographers around my area and they basically say the same thing. It's more or less, a downtime for many photographers. But that doesn't mean you should clean your cameras & lenses, remove the batteries and pack them away for the time being. Just don't make winter an excuse to not take ANY photos at all. There is ALWAYS something to be photographed.

I printed this out and put it on my wall for when I need inspiration. >>> FREE Download: Get A Calendar Full of Photo Ideas For Your 365 Project

I'm not using it for a 365 project, but I am using it as a means for inspiration because each day has an idea and so when I'm feeling bored and uninspired, I'll look at the calendar and for an example; today's idea is "A Beautiful Sight" and try to take a photo that you think conveys that. You don't have to do it everyday, I've missed a few because I was doing other stuff. But the point is, it simply just gets you to think.

Anyways, hope this helps.
 

Dave442

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My general observation has been that taking a selfie is the cure when you don't know what to take a picture of. Me, I just take a picture of my hand, after that I know that anything I point the camera at will be better.
 

nerwin

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My general observation has been that taking a selfie is the cure when you don't know what to take a picture of. Me, I just take a picture of my hand, after that I know that anything I point the camera at will be better.

Sorry, I coulden't resist.

Erwin-170102-7472.jpg
 

otherprof

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So i was out tonight to shoot some night photos in the city. After about 3 hours of just cruising around in my car i realized that i passed so many places that i'd love to shoot on a normal day but tonight i thought that everything looked dull.

What do you do in these situations? Do you pack your bags and just go home for the day or do you keep pushing it. This was one of those nights when i went out without any planning and just wanted to shoot some cityscape.

I ended up driving straight home after 3 hours without even picking up my camera once.

Now i feel like I've wasted an opportunity to shoot satisfying images.

But if i'm not having fun doing it why should i even bother.
A couple of thoughts:
Three hours is hardly a dry spell.
Maybe during that ride you were setting the bar for yourself higher than usual, that is you were not satisfied with the sort of photos you would ordinarily find good.
It even sounds like an interesting and useful exercise: go out and think about why this would not make a good photo. I learn a lot when I'm deleting images I thought would work when I took the shots.
 

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