How do you find your inspiration to create a photo? Sometimes it can take days or weeks to decide how I want to show that vision that first hit me when I saw whatever it was I saw. Sometimes, as in the case of “Japanese Maple in Autumn” in can take years, five years in this case. This tree puts on nice color show every Autumn, but this particular day it was different. It’s difficult to explain why, maybe the colors looked more vibrant, maybe the way the sunshine was hitting it, maybe it just took that long for me to learn enough to finally figure out how to show it off or maybe all of the above.
The point is, even though I say get the shot when you see it, sometimes it’s worth the wait. If the subject is something you can revisit every day, week month or year, keep shooting it. Try different techniques and different post-processing styles. You may never get the vision you want from that subject into your camera, but you’ll always have the vision in your own head (where most of my great photos reside).
Sometimes other artwork will spark an idea in your head. Write it down if it helps you remember what it is you like about it, whether it’s a song, a poem, a painting or another photograph. Writing this blog has helped me a lot. I try to follow people other than photographers. Reading other’s inspirational stories, poems etc. can go a long way to make you see art in other things. I love to listen to music and realized the words have more meaning than I ever noticed before. The artful way the imagery comes together with words is very inspiring for me.
I can’t tell you where to get your inspiration from. All I can tell you is to look for it. Don’t look only in the obvious places and pay more attention to that voice in your head. That voice can be pretty smart sometimes. After all, it is your inner voice trying to tell you something. Listen. Use it. Artwork that comes from within yourself will more often be felt by viewers of your artwork. Create that feeling you had when you saw that thing and thought, “hey, I need to shoot that”. The worse case scenario is you will be proud of yourself for creating the artwork.
~ Daniel Kmiecik