5 Tips for Thinking Out of the Box to Inspire Your Photography at Home
Have you ever felt like the inspiration well is running dry ?
You carry your camera with you everywhere you go, day in and day out, but you just don’t see Kodak moments any more? If you know that feeling, than you must have been around shutters and lenses for some time now, and can’t wait to see something new.
Wait no more! here are some ideas that will inspire you, and help you get rolling again.
1 – Understanding the box in order to think out of it
Photography can be a very technical act; operating your camera in a scientific way, following exact rules that will bring the wanted results. Or it can be the act of an instant emotional reaction to the world, you see a moment and click, you grabbed just it before it’s gone forever, thinking can be done afterwards. Both ways are good and every photographer is captivated by a different mix of both.
Thinking out of the box requires a box to begin. If you find yourself uninterested in doing things that you already know and have done, that is your box. Underneath it is the magic that made you grab the camera for the first time, the thing that got you excited when you held your eye to the viewfinder. On your first encounters with the camera you fell in love with a simple magic that the camera can do, it is now the time to go back to that magic and do it all over again.
The hunt for an interesting texture photo while on a short brake from computer work, led me to this photo out of my studio’s window.
2 – The routine dichotomy
Routine is often thought to be a major enemy of creativity. You walk by the same corner every day for years, and you get used to it so much that you stop seeing its potential to make great photos. On the other hand, routine is the frame in which you create. Once you get used to the background noise, you can pay attention to the little changes in light, color, and small details that are never the same as the day before.
Make routine your friend by focusing your attention on smaller details every time you walk by the same scene. Look out of your window at different hours of the day, over and over again until new details start popping up in your viewfinder.
3 – Shoot without a camera
You may put the blame for the drought on your camera, and go look for the latest pixel beast to get you all excited again, or you can try something new, you can try seeing pictures without a camera.
As you do things during your day, try to imagine what they would look like in different photos, with different focal lengths or different exposure values. You may also look at things through a paper cut frame. Hold the frame at a different distance from your eye to zoom in and out, think of your composition, and move on.
Using your imagination instead of a camera will ignite a new spark in the way you see photography. Then, next time that you want to take a photo, you will see it before even having the camera up to your eye.
4 – The Dead End
Back in the days before smartphone and GPS, you had to find your way around when driving in a new place, and once you faced a dead end street, you had to u-turn and find a new way. That’s when you had to be creative and come up with an inventive solution. That leads to thinking out of the box.
That survival skill is still there and can be kicked in by defining small boundaries in which you photograph, limiting yourself to taking pictures in uncomfortable conditions. For example, do portraits with just a wide angle lens, or look for triangle shapes only with a telephoto lens. Creating dead ends for your photography will force you to find creative solutions, which will lead to new and exciting photographs of the same old world.
The Fuji X100’s fixed lens has made me cross the street to get closer to this group of boys and created a strong feeling of speed.
5 – Experiment with home made light
In your home there are many different light sources that would make a good starting point for a photo session, they can be the subject of your photo and the light source at the same time. When you start from the light source and challenge yourself to see where you can go with it, you challenge your creative mind to take a different path than the more common way of seeing something you want to photograph, and thinking how to light it. Mastering this thinking technique can be of use later when you might need to photograph a subject that is not talking to you, just go for the light.
It is not always possible to stay creative and inspired in photography, but the innovative side of your brain can be kept in shape by repeating these small exercises regularly, at home with any type of camera. Do so and you are promised to come home with better photos next time you go on a photographic vacation.
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