Sometimes I struggle with my own motivation with photography, especially these days with the whole pandemic. There are times when I go a few weeks without shooting a single photo, and then suddenly, something will happen to spark my inspiration and make me want to pick up the camera again.
It might be a specific thing that catches my eye or an engaging creative idea that comes to mind, but most often, it’s the light. After all, light is the most important element in photography and it’s usually what inspires us most as outdoor photographers.
The other day, I was lounging around in my living room, resting up after a long snow bike ride the day before. The sky was kind of clear, but a light fog created this brilliant, warm glow around the sun, which I could see poking through the large pine trees in my neighbor’s yard across the street. And it was snowing.
This is just the kind of thing that makes my creative blood run hot, and so I ran into my office, grabbed my X-T3 and slapped on the Fujifilm XF100-400mm lens, which is my favorite long lens for isolating distant subjects. Stepping out onto my front porch I, dialed in the Velvia film simulation, zoomed the lens all the way out and framed the scene so as to exclude the top of my neighbor’s chimney.
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Shooting hand-held with the lens stabilization on, I captured a number of different compositions and created a handful of images that I absolutely love. The match gets lit and creativity starts flowing again, just like that.
Inspiration is a funny thing. Sometimes you can force it. Sometimes you have to force it, like if you’re shooting an assignment.
Often times, though, it just takes opening yourself up to it by relaxing and not thinking too hard about it. Just focus on what’s in front of you, start shooting something and chances are, you’ll soon find yourself lost in the process.
If you are struggling with inspiration right now, check out this post: Landscape Photographers on Creativity and Inspiration, and also Tips for Staying Creative and Shooting Close to Home.