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.
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.
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.
Ahh...nice bags! I might get one for some in-the-rain moody street shots.
Originally Posted by Soeren
I have to work all weekend
DAMN. I thought I could get at least the saturday off...but no!
Shoot Lomo-style...see your life from the hip.
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Funny, I was just in that situation last weekend.
I had a batch of E-6 chemistry that was getting old and a brand new box of Kodak E100G 8x10s that I wanted to try but not a single idea what to shoot. Everything close to home that struck me as "interesting" had been photographed too often.
I took my 8x10 across the road to my neighbour's farmyard, set up the tripod, and started looking at the world on the groundglass (without even looking around first). After a few minutes under the darkcloth, I started seeing potential pictures I hadn't seen before. A few relocates for a better angle, height adjustments for the right view and I had my picture.
The world always looks different on the GG (or thru the viewfinder)!
Andrew, there is much good advice in the posts so far including two that I tell every student I teach. The first is the 25 steps. Put a roll of film into the camera and select one fixed focal length lens, start your walk anywhere you wish but make the first exposure from that point, walk 25 steps in any direction, point the camera anywhere you wish and make an exposure. Continue this until the roll is finished. This discipline forces you to LOOK and SEE.
The second discipline that I would encourage you to do is to start a visual journal. Again I would insist on one fixed focal length lens with the brief being to expose 1 roll of film each week, photographing anything that takes the eye and lots that don't even take the eye. Develop, contact print and select one image from the weeks exposures and make a working print on 8 x 10 paper, date it on the back and file away in a loose leaf binder. My advice would be to carry on with this discipline for months, or even better, years. After say 6 months have a look at the images that you have selected each week and you'll be surprised at how your way of seeing the world pops out at you. Should you decide to carry on with this discipline for a number of years you will see a gradual change in HOW you SEE and how your style changes and develops.
Don't get depressed about the present dearth of photographic ideas, it happens to all photographers from time to time. Also and as has already been said don't get pre-conceived ideas and plan for photographs you are not in the right frame of mind to do that but the time will come when images begin to flow and you can then plan for them.
I'll be in London in a few weeks Andrew so I'll call you and hopefully we can meet to chew the fat.
photograph breakfast being made, or your unmade bed, shadows and sunlight on the morning floor, sun behind the drapes ... a trip to italy sounds better though
I read your post like a hungry man at a buffet! I think your students are some truly fortunate people, and I am very envious of them! Thanks for the insight!
I've given this a bit of thought myself. I really never run out of ideas; I maintain a book of projects and ideas (in Microsoft OneNote). Get yourself a notebook and just write down the ideas that come to mind during your day.