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Thread: I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

  1. #1

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    I just did a show, and now I find myself at a loss for a new project. I spent a great deal of time and effort getting ready for it, and now that the goal is reached, I donít have a new one.

    Iíve been shooting quite a bit, but nothing seems satisfying once I get it to the printing stage.

    I think Iíve even offered advice to others about how to get ďunstuckĒ, but nothing seems to be working right now. Opinions? Advice? Iíve got lots of time on my hands right now and it seems a shame to waste it. Maybe one of you can give me an assignment!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    I have been thinking along these lines, myself, lately. Trying to discern just what it is that makes a good picture.

    Many people seem to be quite successful at making quality snapshots of fabulous subjects, far-away places and grand vistas. These are distinguished more by the exotic subject matter than the photography. And certainly there is nothing wrong with a series of pictures of Egyptian pyramids at sunset, the high desert in bloom, or the pathos of some squalid slum children in Bangladesh.

    But, alas, I fear my days of world travel are over. It has become difficult to fly with a large format kit. And flying, in general, is such a hassle these days that the concept of a pleasure trip no longer exists for me. And then there are my knees...

    Here in SW New England, grand vistas like those nifty ones out west are in short supply. This area is more the Rust Belt and Graffiti City.

    Looking at the work of French painters of a century ago, it dawned on me that they were obsessed with technique, lighting and composition. Subject matter (like grand vistas) was less important. Van Gogh, for example, painted his bedroom, sunflowers, farm workers and his decidedly unshapely mistress. But what he did with these plain and simple subjects!

    So I have decided to concentrate for a while on vignettes. Perhaps staging a watering can, garden gate and a pot of flowers. And then go crazy with various films, exotic developers, perhaps Bergger papers, toning and Marshallís oils. And I wonít forget the lighting. Lots of fill flash and reflectors. Perhaps even explore the use of strong filters, which I havenít used in years.

    I can always return to puppy, baby and pretty girl snapshots for a rest.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    South Carolina

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    Have you considered a new printing media? AZO, or perhaps one of the alternative printing processes such as Kallitype, Pt/Pd, or Vandyke Brown? The alternative processes in particular offer new and interesting ways of presenting images that are quite different from silver gelatin printing.
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    What was the thrust of the show?

    OK. Buy the 8A Century with the big roll-a-round stand on Ebay and do some 8X10 portraits with a vintage 18" Verito and print them in platinum. That ought to do it.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Seattle, Washington

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    Why force it? If you have nothing to say, there's no shame in being quiet.

  6. #6
    not an junior member Janko Belaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Knezija, Zagreb, Croatia, Europe...

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    Kevin, I can understand your problem very well: I have finished 3 moths project ended with exhibition last saturday, and after 2 resting days I wanted to make some new pictures. but what? Except for my everyday work (working in design studio as part of team, and we are experiencing a kind of "pre-summer lag" with nothing exciting to do) I have no assignments which can force me to think. And because I'm preparing for vacation, friend of mine told me to grab my old Nikon and to just start shooting... around...
    And I'm shooting on cheap efke film and thinking who will develop all those films and what will I do with that serial of portraits... friend and colleges on work, in pub, somebody in the street, anybody in the cab.... Well, I can tell you that I was excited few hours ago when I got an old typewriter and had to shoot illustration for "digital print". I will post tomorrow 1st shot, might inspire you (now just passed midnight here in Zagreb and I have to wait for scan).
    All I wanted to say - get yourself some kind of break. No assignments can be productive also, at least you might collect some "brutal" wish for photography and maybe you will get some idea worth of investigation?
    As you (in "states") would like to say: just my 2 cents ;-)


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Fremantle, Western Australia

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    "I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?"

    Inside yourself.

  8. #8
    matthew blais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Riverside, CA

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    It's not my place to suggest what your inspiration might be, but I just happened to have rented (and watched) an interesting film entitled (duh) "The Photgrapher" that initially deals with the same "lack of inspiration" theme...then it travels elsewhere...pretty cool film though. Interesting lighting, direction, etc.

    Film by Jeremy Stein. Anyone else seen it?
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover"
    August Rodin

    My Now old Photo Site

  9. #9
    Leonard Metcalf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Sydney, Australia

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    You may find this artical (posted on my photoblog) that I wrote on getting through creative blocks. It was devised from listening to a bunch of musicans (at a seminar) talking about how they get through their creative blocks. I have taken their advice and discussed how it can be used in photography. Creativity seems to be similar in many areas.

    Me: I changed from colour film to black and white, and found new inspiration...

    Leonard Murray Metcalf BA Dip Ed MEd

    Len's gallery
    Lens School

  10. #10

    I've got the time, where to go for inspiration?

    The villas of Lago di Garda - Mussolini's, Maria Callas', etc. It is a project of mine which I have yet to start (waiting for my 12x20 - AZO contact prints). My family (mother side) lives nearby. So, if you got time you should fly over and you will not regret it. The wine, olive oil, aceto balsamico and food is worth the trip alone. Inspiration to be found everywhere!

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