Photographic Inspiration

The creative process has long intrigued me. The answers to how and why each of us create are as unique as there are people in the world. Some of us are drawn to specific subject matter, which becomes our focus… a passion. Perhaps it is a fleeting moment that moves us. A shape. A colour. The way light is interacting with a subject.  This article discusses photographic inspiration.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-1600

For me, photographic inspiration often comes from seeing flowing lines and colours. Some subjects simply stop me in my tracks because of their perfect balance of colour and form.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 31.9 mm, efov 86.1 mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-160

At other times I may observe a paradox. Like a calm, green water surface behind some twisted and tortured trees. There is also the power of a complimentary colour pallet.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/400, ISO-800, microscopic mode

Getting in close to a subject and thus experience it in a new and different way, is also a source of photographic inspiration.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 90 mm, efov 180 mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-5000, subject distance 2.2 metres

How all of the small parts of something combine into a unified subject causes feelings of amazement in me.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 49.3 mm, efov 133.1 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-3200, extension tube used

The power of contrast and light is all around us. My eye is often drawn to the magic of light.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 56 mm, efov 151.2 mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO-800

I love the intermingling of shapes.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 54 mm, efov 145.8 mm, f/9, 1/250, ISO-800

Repeating patterns, whether natural or human-made, always grab my attention. Capturing them in a way that focuses only on the pattern while obscuring the bigger subject creates a question that begs to be answered. What is it?

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-360

Preserving a moment that I may never see again is a source of inspiration for me. It could be a human interacting with the environment.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-1250

Or a gift sent by Mother Nature for me to observe.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-280

Sometimes there is drama that jumps out at me… compelling me to compose an image.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikkor 10-30 mm f/3.5-5.6 non-PD @ 30 mm, efov 81 mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO-3200

Or a feeling of peace and serenity that is here and now.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-400

An object’s purpose may be so direct and chilling that it may inspire a simple composition.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 27 mm, efov 72.9 mm, f/5.6, -1.0 step, 1/40, ISO-1600

A pattern may remind me of societal pressures to conform… to fit in.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 12.1 mm, efov 32.7 mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-160

Photographic inspiration may come from seeing the world in less defined ways.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 32 mm f/1.2, efov 86.4 mm, f/1.2, 1/1250, ISO-160

Or experiencing the delicate details that can touch our everyday lives.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 32 mm f/1.2, efov 86.4 mm, f/1.2, 1/640, ISO-160

I find beauty in the intersection of angles, colours and shapes.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/8, 1/25, ISO-3200

I love the power of simplicity.

Kaka Point, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO-800

And also finding form and flow in complex things.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 24 mm, efov 65 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-800

Going back and reviewing our images is a worthwhile endeavor.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 24 mm, efov 65 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-400

It can put us back in touch with the roots of our photographic inspiration.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-160

As we understand more about the things that inspire us… we learn more about ourselves.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 12 mm, efov 32 mm, f/6.3, 1.6 sec, ISO-160

How we have changed over time.

NIKON 1 V2 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 75 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO 160

Allowing us to figure out another small piece of the puzzle in becoming ourselves.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 60 mm, efov 162 mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-160

To help us overcome the inevitable bumps that will happen along the way.

Technical Note:
All photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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2 thoughts on “Photographic Inspiration”

  1. Hi Tom,

    Indeed, going over our own personal archives can make us wistful and introspective. Makes one ask “What is/are my own inspirations for creativity, hence, why I am inspired by such and such?”

    One would think that in a largely homogeneous world, we’ve seen it all, in terms of imagery but we’re often stopped in our tracks by something that caught our eyes. It could be a detail of a thing we’ve always overlooked because we tend to always see the big picture; a pattern revealed only now to us by the change in the light, and so on. Our photographic journey could be stimulated to new directions by a change of environment; it can also be induced to morph through, not the acquisition of new gear but a new set of eyes, a fresher way of seeing the world.

    Oggie
    http://www.lagalog.com

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