Thursday, April 16, 2009

Get Your Create On: A Photographer's Mojo

What sparks your creativity when it comes to photography? Some of us cannot help taking our cameras everywhere with us. We cannot imagine a trip around the world much less to the corner market without our cameras in hand. But, admittedly there are times when we need to look outside ourselves for the next whisp of inspiration; actually, we should all do this to keep things fresh and clicking along for us.

Sometimes, all it takes is a search on flickr to find some amazing images to get the creative juices flowing. Other times it takes a bit more activity. A good photographer never stops learning. Here are some quick ideas for you to make the most of the coming weeks and months with your camera and your brain.
Why not try an on-line class? Check out for their extensive list of classes in everything from basic digital camera work to studio lighting techniques to natural light landscape photography. The cool thing about this company is you are actually in a class -- it's not an independent study program -- and a major component of each class is interacting with your fellow classmates and giving constructive and positive feedback. You'll meet photographers and instructors from all over the world. also has a gallery component and resources from camera and equipment critiques to books and other publications.

The New York Institute of Photography also offers on-line classes. They are a highly-regarded organization, and it's worth your while to check out their class offerings.

If a class doesn't fit into your schedule, why not subscribe to some e-mail feeds and newsletters with photography tips. Adorama is a New York City-based equipment retailer, as well as photo processing center, and they hold fascinating classes and seminars throughout the year. Get on their mailing list and take advantage of their special offers for really cheap prints, too, as a member.

Sometimes, it is not a time-waste to spend some time just hopping around the searches seeking some fresh images and ideas to inspire you. Really, it's not! Take a break from those spreadsheets and HR manuals and instead open up coolphotoblogs and see what you find there. You may find a few minutes turning into a few hours, and your eyes may glaze over, but your brain will be humming. Here are just a few blogs that turned up on a recent query:

(Watch the video you find there for some demos of their latest Holgas. Don't let the hype of the brightly-colored 120N's put you off. Keep watching and see their new pinhole panoramic camera and their stereo pinhole model. As all Holgas do, they use 120 film.)

You can find information on Holgas and how to buy them right here.

How do you find your inspiration? Leave a comment and share your genius. We'd love to hear from you.

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A world traveler and self-taught photographer, look for Ann Wilkinson wandering around city streets and tromping through woods and hiking trails with her camera. After owning an international transportation business for many years, Ann has found her creative spirit again through the lens. See more at Ann's shop and her website, and say hello to her on her blog too.


Matt Allen Photography said...

great shots all around, and great article too!

I've found a lot of inspiration from photographers on twitter posting links to tips and posts that I might not have otherwise seen.

Holms TP said...

I find my inspiration by laying on my stomach on the ground and looking around me.

From My Eye said...

I get inspired by looking at images by other photographers. I ALWAYS start here. There is amazing talent in the POE team! Thank you for the post and the awesome photographs!

UrbanJunkies/zuppaartista said...

ann, thanks so much for including my gal! :) i was so excited to see her among all these fantastic shots!
and what a fabulous article! you've inspired me to go wandering around town asap!

i think i find most of my inspiration from fellow POE members, national geographic photographers and dan eldon!

thanks for the inspiration nudge! i needed it! :)

Candi said...

Great photos! There isn't a day that goes by when I leave the house that I DON'T take my camera. It's with me at all times. I find 99.9% of my inspiration in my mom's beautiful garden. She has quite the variety of flowers.

Btw...I am a new member of the poe team, and I am really thrilled to be a part of this wonderful team. I would like to add my blog to the blog roll please!

My shop is

Dolce Chic

and my blog is

Thank you!

MinaLucia said...

Thanks for the ideas. Sometimes I create friend challenges. So the idea is get a bunch of friends together, pick a "subject" (more like a very loose concept) and give a time limit. Something like an hour. There are also silly rules at times to make it more fun(ny) and it levels the playing field. Try to include your friends that have nothing to do with the arts. It hurts but sometimes they have the best shots!

Lil Red/Kelly said...

It's really nice to hear from fellow POE's about this topic. My inspiratin are NYC and the people around me. Also, has a lot of great photo groups that do photo outings together.

I.B Design-Photography said...

great post, inspiration in itself.

I find great inspiration from just wandering round the streets of London. everything from people to music give me great inspiration.

readingsully2 said...

You have great taste.:)