What do you do when you've run out of ideas?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by andrewmoodie, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. andrewmoodie

    andrewmoodie Member

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    I've run out of ideas.

    I've got a nice new camera (and mountains of film) and I've taken it out with me a few times lately but I can't think of anything to go after.

    What's a good way to break out of this? All suggestions welcome.

    Andrew
     
  2. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I had this problem back in the early summer, so I decided to do something I hadn't done before and had a go at macro and still life.
     
  3. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Andrew go for a walk through town/city, go for a drive in the countryside, go travelling, look through boxes of old memories for inspiration,...
    Good luck!
     
  4. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Ps. I aso looked at images I liked and researched who made them, ie photographs, paintings etc. I became very interested in the work of Alexander Rodchenko in the Soviet Union of the thirties. It made me want to make images like his and got me back out on the streets.
     
  5. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Don't go looking for pictures. Go out with an open and clear mind, and let the images come to you.
     
  6. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I like to go out and open my eyes more than normal and try to spot good photos in everyday things and the town around me.
    Sometimes I limit myself to one body with one lens (mostly a 50 mm prime).

    Something I haven't done in a while is doing candid shots in the park or the town with my 70-300 telezoom. Great photos can be done this way.

    Otherwise I have tried to force myself to explore a certain subject and therefore have to focus (in more than one way :smile:) on something I normally wouldn't.

    Morten
     
  7. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Wake up in the morning, and start shooting your morning routine!
     
  8. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Holga.:smile: (no, seriously - it works wonders!)
     
  9. richo

    richo Member

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    Maybe it is not about searching what to photograph, but more about what interests you, what make you thinking what are your wishes, needs. And than when you know those try to express your views and feelings with your photos.

    So I wouldn't suggest you to go out and walk with camera, more I would suggest you to think on topics which has nothing to do with photography and think about them without connecting them to photography. When you make up your mind clear about something (which annoys you or which please you) and you know your point of view than take camera and express it.
     
  10. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I agree. The total lack of technical consideration can give you lots of energy to concentrate on composition. And the Holga is a very different way of seeing the world.
     
  11. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Yyirk that would really put me of when I see the results :D
    But I will try that one next time I'm in photografic trouble. Nice grainy, partly out of focus B&W images of the steam from the shower. Actually its a great idea.
    Søren
     
  12. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Indeed it is, Søren...but...be careful about using your electronic Nikon SLR...the circuits may be ruined by steam :smile:

    I have btw started to photograph my work day, collegues and even my boss. The result will be 10-20 18x24 cm prints to be hanged on the walls in our office. My company even pays for film, dev and printing (and frames and mats). Great project.
     
  13. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I had this as an assignment once, and the results were great. Sometimes, it's good to JUST shoot. Especially when you are still a little sleepy, and you aren't thinking about it too much.

    You may be pleasantly surprised at what you get!
     
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  15. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    ideas are plentiful, time is short. i think of themes i want to cover...shoes, flowers, shadows, still life, buildings, people, abstracts. do something out of the ordinary for yourself. carry a different format and challenge yourself. walk through a museum, a conservatory, a park, a department store, a library, a church, a cathedral, a new neighborhood. walk a different way to work from where you park or disembark from your bus/train/bike. get up at least 1/2 hour earlier than usual and look around. think about wide angles versus normal or telephoto. think about telephoto versus normal or wide. portraits with other than "portrait" lens. landscapes in macro...macro with WA lens. of course, YMMV.

    Luke
     
  16. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Go to Italy.
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Go into the darkroom, look over old negatives, make better prints, print up some portfolios, hang some work, make small prints for friends--there's always plenty of that to be done, and eventually you'll come out of it and want to shoot some new material.
     
  18. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    Give yourself an assignment - begin to see things. Limit yourself to 200 yards of your bedroom and set out to take take a picture of something - but in a new and unusual (for you) way.

    Perhaps I am wierd - I have come to the realization that photography is about seeing even the mundane through inqusitive eyes. (Have you ever noticed the exquisite patterns woven by peeling paint?) When I take the time to see something - really see it - I find I am stimulated in ways that bleed into all areas of my photography.

    Want to be humbled? Give a camera to a 5-6 year old and let them guide you to see the world. They approach it naturally - without preconceived ideas.

    We are surrounded by wonderment - our failing is our learned inability to see it.
     
  19. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    Stop thinking. I havent found a photograph by thinking yet.
     
  20. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Morten. Ever heard of EVA-Marine UW Bags ? Guaranteed waterproof until 50m depth. My electronic SLR should be ok in the shower :smile:
    BTW off topic. Do you attend this weekend ?
     
  21. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    You're at a great place.

    Baudelaire said "The Intellect alone is impotent to create anything."

    Put a lens on the camera, a short roll of film in the camera, and go for a short walk. Shoot the roll before you get home. Just shoot any d*@N thing.
    Soup the film when you get home. Proof it if you can, complete the cycle.

    Follow the same path every day for a week. Always develop the film when you get back. Proof all the film at the end of the week.

    If you're still dry, take a second week and a different path.

    It doesn't have to be about ideas. It can be about discovery. It can be about nothing, just walking. It can just be about being stuck. After a little while, you'll find out ... something.

    .
     
  22. abeku

    abeku Subscriber

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    Pick a photo book that you like, and get inspired. Bresson has also said something like, "Live the life, and take of photos of what you experience" - When my inspiration fails, I noticed that Im trying to capture photos of something that I'm not mentally a part of. So Bresson's advice has helped me a lot. To change equipment can also be fun, Holga is mentioned. I would like to mention the half frame camera Agat 18K loaded with iso 400 film and Rodinal processing - talking about inspirational grain.
     
  23. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    When I need a change, I change formats for awhile. Back in January, I felt stale shooting 8x10, so I pulled out by 2x3 Speed Graphic. Gave me a whole new view of the world.

    I also sometimes force myself to see photos - I go to walk with my camera and every 25 steps, stop and find a photograph. The method forces me to look and see in a manner that I might not normally see.
    juan
     
  24. wfe

    wfe Member

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    I have found myself in this situation many times.

    A few suggestions:
    1. Take a walk and stop every 25 steps, look whatever way you feel and shoot a picture. Continue this for an entire roll of film.
    2. Sit in one place and wait for people/things to come into the frame and shoot when they do.
    3. Shoot whatever it is that you are passionate about.
    4. Try some self portraits, capture you own feelings and emotions and look carefully at these images.
    5. Simplify and don't try too hard, don't over think it.
     
  25. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Ahh...nice bags! I might get one for some in-the-rain moody street shots.

    I have to work all weekend :sad:

    DAMN. I thought I could get at least the saturday off...but no!
     
  26. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Shoot Lomo-style...see your life from the hip.