I typically follow the #1 Rule of Photography: TAKE A CAMERA WITH YOU EVERYWHERE!
However, taking a camera with you everywhere does not guarantee inspiration.
A lot of Photographers will sort of brag, almost, that they take photographs every single day. OK, great, these photographers must be incredibly inspired, or, they take a lot of “Crap”, boring photographs everyday, or they are fortunate enough to be in a new, exciting location everyday, or they are filled with rainbows, butterflies, fairy dust, and so many unicorns, that nothing seems redundant and boring to them! How amazing would that be, to always see things with fresh eyes so that everything appears inspiring and exciting. If there is such a person, what necromancy are you doing?
Anymore nowadays, when I do a walkabout in my area, I have to be very moved by a subject for me to get my camera out and photograph.
I go slowly; I’m looking at every small speck-of-a-subject on the ground, on the trees, around the buildings, and in the air.
I spend a lot of time saying:
- “What’s that?” Just shit.
- “Look there!” Nope….boring.
- “What about that?” Sigh….seen it, done it, overdone it….boring!
- “That could have possibilities!!!” On closer inspection…”ARGH! 1,000,000 tourists and all of their dogs have taken that same image, or subject, and plastered it on the Interwebs.
Boring photography is easy. Interesting photography is less easy.
One of the main problems with photography-in-your-area, let us call it, is that you have seen most everything, and nothing seems fresh and new.
I agree that to hone your photography skills, you must photograph often! There is no doubt about that. However, are you inspired by what you see everyday, so much so, that you are drooling at the thought of taking photographs, even of very boring subjects that you have seen everyday, and subjects that are honestly not exciting or special?
THERE IS A CAVEAT TO THE ABOVE-MENTIONED QUESTION: What you may find uninspiring and boring may be new and exciting to another Photographer!
A lot of times, I don’t need to travel to a distant land to be inspired to photograph again. I just use my imagination to visualize in new ways, which gives me a different viewpoint.
I am often very inspired to take photographs with my mind, yes, my mind’s-eye, while watching a good TV show or movie, where the cinematography was done well, and the locations are interesting.
For example, I am a HUGE Sherlock Holmes fan, and have read all of the Holmes stories (some many times), and I have seen most of the Sherlock Holmes made for TV shows and movies. I would say that Jeremy Brett was the best and most authentic Sherlock Holmes, and Basil Rathbone was a very close second. That’s just my opinion, and a sidenote.
Anyway, I was watching “The Last Vampyre” movie, starring Brett as Holmes. As the show moved from scene to scene, I found myself taking photographs with my Mind’s-Eye Camera! The wonderful, rustic, rural, UK scenery, the actors in their period piece costumes, the antique still life subjects, all made me want to be in that moment and taking real photographs. I probably took over 2,000 amazing photographs with my Mind’s-Eye camera.
I don’t see those sceneries and those costumes and those antiques around here where I live; therefore, it was exciting and it got me inspired to photograph, even if it was imaginary photography using my Mind’s-Eye camera.
Will taking imaginary photographs with my Mind’s-Eye camera help me get inspired to take photographs of the things around where I live? I can’t say yet: Nevertheless, this exercise was good because it got me thinking about composing photographs, and that is a step in the right direction.