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Archimedes the Dog
05-15-2014, 08:38 PM
My black and white work is feeling a little monotonous in a different way, lately. I am looking for a high-volume source of inspirational work in black and white to get me out of my rut. Does anyone have suggestions? Contemporary/historic, pro/amateur, curated/free-for-all: any and all is fine by me. Thanks.

05-15-2014, 08:45 PM
Subscribe, and browse through the Gallery. Lots of top notch B&W work.

Archimedes the Dog
05-15-2014, 08:51 PM
Other than the requisite Flickr groups, of course.

05-15-2014, 08:55 PM

Lacking a good book, visit a gallery or museum showing some quality historical B&W.

05-15-2014, 09:05 PM
no idea what your style is or what you are "into"

Subscribe, and browse through the Gallery. Lots of top notch B&W work.


Bill Burk
05-15-2014, 09:25 PM
To find your way out of a rut, the Monthly Shooting Assignment or a print/postcard/blind exchange is a great, great way to start...

Archimedes the Dog
05-15-2014, 09:29 PM
no idea what your style is or what you are "into"


I am feeling stagnant and want something new, so my style is the problem, haha. I actually thought i had subscribed, so I need to figure out what happened with that.

Bill Burk
05-15-2014, 09:31 PM
Prove us wrong about arranged versus found...

Arrange something that carries it off.

As I've said, my arrangements always looked stilted. Maybe you can do better.

05-15-2014, 11:45 PM
If you only photo in daytime, start taking photos only at night time. It's a whole diffferent world. Meeting new challenges invigorates most people.

Kent in SD

05-16-2014, 01:34 AM
Wow, such good suggestions in only one page. I've been feeling stale and useless lately, too. These are a real help.

05-16-2014, 02:45 AM

Also on google you have option to look on different art work:


05-16-2014, 05:19 AM
Anything that forces you to deal with something different might help. Subject matter and/or gear department. If you are doing 35mm, get a 8x10 pinhole and make (palladium) contact prints. If you are an LF landscape shooter, pick up a 35mm and go to a zoo or the park.

You say you are feeling stale and useless. I can only speak for myself, but when I am depressed or in a bad mood I don't produce anything worthwhile. I found the only way through this is to keep going...

05-16-2014, 06:27 AM
For real writers that earn their living through writing, there is no such thing as writer's block. They start each day knowing they have to sit down at the keyboard and start typing, every morning regardless how they feel.

If you feel blocked because of too much photography, the solution is to lay off the photography for a short break. Even a few days can do wonders.

If you feel blocked because of too little, the solution is also simple: Start shooting more.

If you are bored with what you photograph, figure out what you find interesting and challenging, and work on that. If it is your hobby, you can decide what, and how much of it, you photograph.

Many people feel more driven when they have a clear project that they work on. PAD, PESO, monthly challenges etc. can and do help. Or you could define your own project. I think it must be meaningful, and hopefully lead somewhere.

As for me, I do get bored sometimes, and then I try something new. I built my first 4x5 pinhole camera over the past two weeks, simply because I was a bit bored with the usual sharp, contrasty stuff. It always helps if one measures one's progress. Without progress, every endeavour is essentially a hamster running in its exercise wheel, and even exploration can become a bit stale.

05-16-2014, 06:43 AM
Look at good art that isn't photographs - in person, not on the internet or even books, but in galleries and museums - painting, sculpture, abstract, representational, conceptual, landscape, portrait, the unfamiliar more than the familiar, and spend as much time - or more - with things you don't like or understand as with those that you do.

Saturate yourself with it, 'til your eyes bleed.

Then after a while, go out and start taking photographs again.

Rick A
05-16-2014, 07:28 AM
Go somewhere you are very uncomfortable with, and make photographs. Document what makes you uneasy.

Thomas Bertilsson
05-16-2014, 07:57 AM
Strangely, I find that I work best when I go for long walks every day, where I can fill my lungs with fresh air and appreciate the world around me, at a slow pace. Or to see what's ugly about the world works too. That fills me with inspiration. I don't know your life style, and what you do on a day-to-day basis, so maybe you're doing all this already.
For my walks I always go out without a camera, unless it's purposely for photographing. It's kind of fun to 'see' things without having the ability to photograph it. Makes me hungry, and it makes me think more about subject matter than if I see it through the camera.

I like the suggestions to do something outside the normal box. Go someplace you're not familiar with, photograph something that is outside your comfort zone.

05-16-2014, 08:50 AM
Shorpy.com. Look at the image sharing forum at the large format photography forum. Go back into your own archive and look at some work you haven't looked at in years.

05-16-2014, 08:51 AM
BTW. I found inspiration from Thomas's work helped me out of my funk/rut.

05-16-2014, 09:07 AM
Buy, borrow or make a pinhole camera. You won't have to think about lenses, focusing, etc. Find a location you have enjoyed photographing before and make some exposures. The resulting images might reveal something you never noticed before while looking through a lens. Beside being a fun way to photograph you might be inspired. If you use large format film with it consider contact printing and alternative processes.


05-16-2014, 10:21 AM
I am feeling stagnant and want something new, so my style is the problem, haha. I actually thought i had subscribed, so I need to figure out what happened with that.

sometimes learning something new, can help
or as pdeeh suggests immersing yourself with
a variety of non-photographic artwork ...
but not everyone is the same ...
i like making photograms when im bored
lumen-type ones on expired paper or film
or cyanotypes, cheap mindless fun that
eventually bleeds into other areas of your photographic life.

its funny ( to me at least ) people who love landscapes and portraits and still lifes or whatever ...
sometimes don't realize that making abstractions / photograms &c improves the way they do the other stuff ...
because in the end its all just line and form ...

good luck !