Friday, February 10, 2012

Inspiration





     
"The great advantage of being in a rut is that when one is in a rut,
one knows exactly where one is"
--Arnold Bennett

Ever feel like you are stuck in a rut?  I know I sometimes do especially working in the design field where I have to be creative all the time.  Sometimes I sit down at my drafting table to work on a new landscape plan and I just sit there....staring at the blank sheet of paper....tapping my pencil.....wondering when the ideas will start flowing.   The same frustration can occur with photography as well.  But I have learned that inspiration can come from many different places.

With landscape design I'm inspired by the colors I see, the textures I feel and the spaces that I walk through.  With photography I'm inspired by so many things such as my fellow photographers, finding beauty in unexpected places and those special storytelling moments.   I'm constantly inspired by my children and how they see the world around them.

The above photo was taken at a local nature preserve on a beautiful "un-January" like day.  My daughter was gathering items along our walk such as acorns, pine needles, and pebbles and then running over to the bridge to throw them into the water below to see if they would sink or float.  It became a fun game for the two of us as she guessed whether the Blue Jay feather that she found would sink to the bottom or float gracefully along the top.  I felt inspired to take this storytelling photo knowing that I would remember this particular moment in time when I forgot everything else that was going on around me and took time to play sink or float with my daughter.

So how about you?  Ever feel like you are in a rut?  Where do you look for inspiration?




17 comments:

Dotti said...

Oh, yes! Ruts. They're everywhere, aren't they? Sometimes my inspiration comes from within but more often than not my inspiration begins with my online photo groups and classes, being part of communities just like Focusing on Life. I'm then able to internalize what I find here and put my own stamp on it. Yes,the online world of photography is the number one factor in my development as a photographer. It's what I seek out when I find myself (all too often) in that rut.

AFishGirl said...

I'm with Dotti. It's the viewing of other's photographs online (in classes or Flickr) that get me out of a rut. Any kind of prompt or, say, interestings posts about ruts, that'll get me going. Thinking about ruts, imagining what ruts look like. LOL. I think all creativity waxes and wanes, part of the process. My belief is that the quiet times (or ruts) are necessary and then comes the shaking of one's self, sleeves pushed up, metaphorical coffee jolt, and getting down to it. I love hearing of those of you with young children still at home. The eyes of a child (will it float, will it sink), that boundless creative spirit they embody, so good for all of us to see and feel. The sky is the limit, anything is possible, well, most things. At at the end of this long comment I again say thanks to all of you, you're my rut breakers.

susan said...

I LOVE THIS POST! Beautiful shot Leigh! Ah yes...the inevitable rut. Who hasn't been there? If I'm in a rut, then that's usually my signal to regroup, refresh, and clear the 'creative' mind. Uploading a 'funny' movie usually takes my mind off of the project and puts the giggles into my soul instead of frustration from the 'rut'. If it's a deadline and I need a photo and creativity can't go on the back burner, then I'm out the door with my camera for inspiration.

ashley said...

i have to be careful not to confuse a routine with a rut. routine is important with my two little kids, but ruts for are not a good thing. when i find myself in a rut, i get out of it by getting on my yoga mat, watching my kids play, sitting in meditation, reaching out to a friend, etc....it boils down to taking action, any action when i become aware that i am in a rut.
btw, love the picture!

terriporter said...

Love your post and photo, Leigh! Our zoo has a similar bridge and this reminds me of all the wonderful times spent there when my kids were little. Photographic ruts are most likely very familiar to a lot of us. In fact, it is exactly what my post for next week was going to be about! I had been thinking about what gets me out the door and shooting and I agree with several of the comments above that I am most inspired by the other photographers in my online photography groups. I will see an image and think, "Okay, got to try that!" and off I go. Another thing that gets me inspired is learning something new to do with my photos like using word art, textures, Photoshop filters, etc. One of the great things about photography is that there is always something new to learn, and learning those new things helps get me out of my rut. Thanks for the wonderful post!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Brilliantly stated Pam. You have been my inspirartion MANY times. I know that some day when I win the lottery (note to self to buy lottery ticket) I will come see you for my FIRST fishing trip!

Karen Harvey Cox said...

Leigh, your photograph is lovely, I especially love the coloring in this photo. Your daughter is darling. I love keeping photos around that encourage me in some way.

Usually I get into a rut, when I forget to step away from what I am doing. I love creating and often I have to change gears completely to refresh, and find new inspiration. Perhaps that is why I love photography so much. It is the thing that I turn to when I need to step away from whatever project I am working on, and recharge. It is the way I can get away from everything and just take a walk and change my perspective.

I never feel the pressures of needing to be creative when it's just me and the camera, it feels as if that lens teaches me to see things more clearly.

Karen

Leigh said...

I know what you mean Ashley! I thrive on routine, but sometimes I find myself losing myself in the routine. It all comes back to self-care which we talk about a lot. It's great that you have your yoga and meditation for that much needed me time. Photography is my way to feed my soul and care for myself. It's something I do for just me!

Cathy H. said...

I needed this post today!! I've been in a "rut" lately! I really think it's been brought on by the lack of sunshine! I love outdoor photograpy and haven't been too inspired to get out; too cloudy, too rainy. After reading your post, I was thinking of what would inspire me today; what would make me get my camera out. I turned to my computer, looked at photos on blogs, in class galleries, and linky groups. I can always find something I'm inspired to try. I took my camera to a room with the most light, set up a fluorescent lamp for additional light, and began to play, trying some indoor macro shots. I'm not really good at photographing inanimate objects, but, it was fun setting things up and taking a few, well more like hundreds, of shots!! I also like to look at magazines for inspiration, especially "Artful Blooging," which has such gorgeous photos!! Thanks for the timely post and the help to push me out of my rut!!! I'm loving this blog and your thought provoking posts!! This is a wonderful place!!

Leigh said...

Cathy I'm glad that you were inspired to think outside the box and try something new! I can easily can stuck when the weather is dreary, because like you I am an outdoor photographer. I'm slowly trying new ways of shooting indoors and always look to the wonderful ladies in our online classes to inspire me to try new techniques!

Leigh said...

I'm liking that term rut breaker! And Pam, you are so right about the creative spirit of children. They are always willing to try something without the thought that it might not work. I try to have that attitude when it comes to photography.

stephmull said...

What a awesome post, Leigh! Yes, I have found myself in a rut. I think weather can play a huge role in the creative process. And even though I live in Texas, I find it much harder to find something new and innovative to photograph in the winter. I like to scroll through photos of all my friends on flickr or type keyword searches and just browse for awhile to help me break out of my rut. Or sometimes I try to look at things I've photographed before but think, how can I shoot this from a totally different perspective and give it a different feel? Thanks for all the encouragement today!

Deanna said...

Oh ruts, good choice of a topic, Leigh especially at this time of year. I think we all get a little bogged down when the weather becomes continually grey and lifeless. We photographers like light and color. I usually buy some colorful flowers, comb the blogs and flickr, and groups that I have joined to derive some inspiration. Taking an old photo and playing with it, adding textures or different actions I have discovered is another way I try to climb out of my rut. And like, Cathy H said, comb thru the magazines, and yes, especially "Artful Blogging" A post to ponder. Terrific post and I love that delightful image of your daughter on the bridge!!

Linda said...

Great post, Leigh! I love the picture! I like how you said you took time and just enjoyed the moment with your daughter. That's not so easy to do! Especially with kids since they move so fast! I find if I get in the moment with the kids I can get a better shot. And have a whole lot more fun!

Ida said...

As a Card Maker and now a novice photographer I have found much inspiration from blogs like this. Your photo is so charming and sweet. It brings to mind that even life's simplest moments can be special memories.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo - no "rut" going on here! Thanks for sharing.
kaphelps

Michelle Renee said...

I think it's easy to get stuck in a rut, the secret is having the attitude to climb out of it, which isn't always easy. :)

As for inspiration, my blogging buddies continually inspire me with their projects and talents. I have post it notes all over my desk of new things to try!

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