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4 Tips for Finding Inspiration

4 Tips for Finding Inspiration

Towards the end of the month, the momentum of a New Year starts to wane, ideas for creative photographs are harder to come by and the motivation to pick up your camera is fleeting. In short, the winter slump hits in full force. While it is completely fine to take a break from photography, if you find doing so to be rejuvenative, shooting through the slump can be a viable option. Here are some ideas for focusing your photography on a new approach- one of the best ways to find inspiration.

image by Megan Cieloha Photography-3

1- Really dive into studying and using one type of light.

Instead of accepting whatever type of light you find your subject in, and using it to create your imagery, purposefully set out to find and use one type of lighting situation that you’d typically avoid. It could be that you tend to forego bright, evenly lit scenes, dim scenes or creating silhouettes. Whatever the lighting situation is that you choose to focus on, research its definition, then google for additional tips related to its use. Be looking for an opportunity to use your project light both when you are behind the camera and when you are not. Become a student of the light.

2- Create a study on emotion

It sometimes seems that photographers can be focused on capturing only one emotional tone in their imagery. While this approach can be quite successful in creating a cohesive portfolio, it is also somewhat limiting of the photographers continued growth. If you find yourself pulled towards a singular emotion in the majority of your imagery, commit to an assignment of purposefully capturing its opposite. How will you need to change your light use, compositional choices, posing direction, etc. in order to effectively convey a different emotion? You could choose to focus on happy, sad, angry, pensive, fearful, inquisitive, confident, etc.

3- 1 lens, 1 week

Do you have a favorite lens? I do! It’s my 24-70, because it is so versatile and I can capture almost anything I want in the focal range between 24 and 70mm. However, I’m really comfortable with that lens. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but comfort does not inspire growth. If there is a lens that is collecting dust in your bag, pull it out, put it on your camera, and don’t take it off for a week. How can you work within the contraints of its focal length and aperture in order to create imagery that communicates your vision? Maybe it is long lens and you prefer to shoot inside. You will either need shoot detail shots, crop creatively or experiment with photographing outdoors. Maybe your lens is manual focus only. Give it a whirl!

4- Ap on the extreme

Do you normally shoot with a rather wide open aperture? Close down to f/10 or smaller. How will that change your approach? What factors will you need to take control of in order to be in charge of every part of your frame, when you can’t hide things in bokeh? Do you normally shoot closed down? Trying opening up to a wider ap. How does doing so effect the mood of your imagery? What changes do you  need to make to subject positioning in order to effectively guide viewer experience with focus?

image by Megan Cieloha Photography

image by Megan Cieloha Photography-2

Are you in a winter slump? Let me know in the comment section, below, and tell me which method of inspiration you plan to try!

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