It can happen in a flash. That moment when you see the image that you want your camera to capture. It may be as you’re walking your dog. It may be something you see as you drive to work that triggers an idea. Or may be a sudden inspiration that hits as you stumble to the bathroom at two in the morning. I wish I could see that flash of creativity more often. Most of the time my inspiration from what I have planned to photograph. Once I am at the scene of an interesting landscape, or have something that I want to photograph at hand, then I become inspired to see the image I want to create.
This low C Irish or Penny whistle had been sent to me by the whistle maker to photograph it for his website. As I tried to come up with unique ideas for how best to showcase it I leaned the whistle against a set of barnboard doors. Although the final image chosen for the website was a different one, I love this image of the whistle and a bodhran leaning against the doors as if they were put down between sets and will very soon be played again. When the building the doors were attached to was torn down I kept a section of one door to use as a backdrop. The final image chosen was a simple photo, taken from above of the whistle lying in a bed of fallen oak leaves. Some were already brown but others still had vestiges of their fall colors. The website owner then became further creative and cropped the image so that rather than being a plain rectangle it had the shape of an oak leaf.
When I am photographing horses it’s easier for me to be creative. Although I do photograph the posed images requested by their owners, it’s the unplanned fun moments I like to capture. Moments between the horses and their people.Moments when a horse may be playful before settling down to stand still.
My biggest hurdle is finding inspiration on my own. And trying to come up with an idea can make me feel me the photographer’s version of writers block. I find that I need to relax and just let the image ideas come to me. It’s not easy and many times very frustrating. Once I have an idea getting it from idea to finished image is not always easy. My problem, in part, comes simply from making mistakes. I will look at a scene, see an image in my mind, but fail to capture it with my camera. I go home, download my media card and look critically at my creation. Then I sigh as I see all the things that spoil the image. It happens to everyone. And if we truly want to learn, the lesson is in front of us. I take note of what about the photo spoils the image I had wanted to take. I check the meta data to see what shutter speed and aperture I had used if depth of field or blur was a problem . I want to learn from my errors..