Finding Inspiration

20161002_vancouver_westside_yearlongproject_fallleaves_week52

In my last post, I talked about the importance of having a subject to shoot.  That it was far better to have some idea of what you wanted to shoot than to shoot as many subjects as possible.  By doing so, as mentioned in the last post, you eventually get a shot which is likely at the best angle.  You know because you’ve worked your subject as best as you can.  So the million dollar question is what do you shoot?

This brings me to the Idea Creation stage that I briefly talked about in my first post on December 19, 2016.  This I feel is where you can lay the foundation to be more creative.  In Shelley Carson’s book “Your Creative Brain”, she talked about 4 main components (or sources of creativity) in the Preparation stage, which is very similar to the Idea Creation stage.  There are other components in the Idea Creation stage, but I’ll talk about these 4 for the time being.

The first one comes from what you know.  In this case,  your life experience and general knowledge or  your knowledge of a particular subject becomes a source of inspiration.  For instance, I love how beautiful the foliage looks on trees during the fall season in Vancouver.  I had seen beautiful photos of the fall colours at Trout Lake (it’s a park in East Vancouver for people unfamiliar with the city).  The photo above is in part a result of my love of the fall colours in Vancouver.

The second source of creativity lies in acquiring and learning new skills and information (possibly acquired through research).  In photography, this could mean learning a new function or technique in Lightroom for example.  For people who don’t know what Lightroom is, it is a software developed by Adobe to help photographers organize and develop a photograph.  In a subsequent post, I will talk about how learning a new Lightroom technique allowed me to improve the look of a photo I took of a young girl in Mumbai.  You can view it on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/instayunman/).

The third source of creativity lies in looking at a situation or problem differently. This may mean either improving or changing how you look at a particular situation or problem.  For example, this could mean photographing food in a dark and moody way as opposed to in a brightly lit way.  If you do a quick search on Pinterest for food, most of the pictures are brightly lit.  Take a look at how food looks like if it’s photographed in a dark and moody fashion (https://www.pinterest.com/explore/dark-food-photography/).  It’s different, but it’s still pretty cool, isn’t it?

In the fourth source, Ms. Carson identifies it as Problem Immersion.  In photography, this means becoming more familiar with your subject of choice and understanding the circumstances surrounding it.  For example, check out the above photograph of Trout Lake.  I had to go to the park at least 3 different times before the fall colours  were more noticeable.  If I had not become more familiar with when the fall colours were in full bloom at Trout Lake, I don’t think I would have been able to capture the fall foliage in it’s full glory in the above picture.

In my next post, I’ll talk about other sources of creativity, and briefly tell you where my inspiration came from in my year long photo project about Vancouver.

So, what do you think?  I’ll love to hear from other people.  Please share some stories on how you get your new ideas and tell me what you find inspirational.  The more the merrier!!!

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