You get these "I don't know what to do next..." phases? When you want to do some photography, but your creative ideas simply ran out... Well, I can tell you what I do. You should know that what works for me may not be right for someone else. I am more of a "street photographer", I don't direst my shots, don't plan them. I'm not into models or stills in particular and so I depend solely on inspiration.
1. Check out the weather.
When I have an idea what I want to take pictures of, it's easy.. I go there. When I have no idea what to shoot, I simply go without knowing where. I check the weather to decide on the general idea. Warm days (without clouds in the sky) are good for urban shots since I don't need the sky in the frame, and it's mostly shaded anyway. Warm days with nice clouds are perfect for IR or landscape. Colder days are great for nature, Macro and reflections (puddles of rain), and they are also good for indoor shots and moody landscapes. Think of nice places you know that can natch these conditions, and simply go. The world is moving, and all you need is watch it revolve around you.
2. Get the perspective of your sensor
So, now you know the direction you match the gear. Wide lenses for landscapes, tele lenses for nature, middle length for urban...
I love taking the lenses I plan on (not the whole bag) and limit myself to the gear. That gives me aim at what I look at and help me focus on a perspective looking at the world. Looking at everything without that focus can make me miss a few ideas. It's kind of limiting yourself to think like the camera, instead of the person you are. I always feel more focused as a photographer at seeing things, than I feel when I don't have the camera on me.
3. Watch and think before you shoot
Don't force yourself to shoot. Blend into your surroundings. Feel the tempo of what happens around you and things will look differently. Take some time to examine things from a wider point of view, and then start breaking it don to details, scenes, corners. For an example, look at a street and feel the commotion. Direction people go, people that stand, compositions, the way the light falls, advertising billboards, colors, shapes, patterns.. now break it down to what will happen if you focus on a someone if he passes the building in a exact second.. What if you take the tall building from a wide angle, including a bus stop from a low angle... So, take some time to look before you act.
4. Dare yourself to try it differently
You've seen something interesting? Good! Now try and think of the way to present it. If you present it exactly like you see it, it has to be really special not to look corny. I mean, that's the way everybody sees it all the time... So, take a second and think as a photographer. The angle changes a lot. Maybe go to a higher point of view, maybe a lower, maybe through a reflection, maybe against the light, and maybe with a different depth of field. The point is to challenge yourself to think differently because there is someone that you want to show it to, and you need to make him stop and think to make an impact.
5. And back to the first stage... your ideas
This is a very important stage for a creative photographer, one that wants his pictures to be more than beautiful and have a meaning. The ideas don't have to come from planned scenes. You have an opinion on things, a personal thought. How can you make it come to life through photography? That's maybe the hardest part, but when you figure this out - you are on your way to making a difference. People want to see ideas and opinion in photographs, and not only beautiful colors. When you look at something you want to shoot stop for a second. Think. How can I show it in a way it will show it is you that's taking the picture. A lot of who you are as a photographer hides in this.
- Posted by Gilad on DA