Uninspired with your images? Do something different.

Feeling stuck or uninspired with your images?

For the last several months (heck, maybe even the last couple of years), I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired with my images. Not just that, but also feeling like I’m not coming back with images that really excite me.

I continue to get out there and create though. Even if I come home and delete the majority of the photos. Why? Part of what I really enjoy, what I think most of us enjoy, is capturing what I see.

Then what? Then they sit there on my hard drive for weeks, months and in some cases, years. Not inspired or motivated to cull and edit them. So, I feel better for having gotten out and created with the camera but just not inspired enough to do anything further.

Traveling again

Yes, the last couple of years has taken a toll on all of us. Taken a toll in a number of ways, to be sure. Those of us who thrive on traveling is finally getting to explore again. Further than our own backyards. That in and of itself made me feel more inspired again.

Going to a new location, somewhere that’s been on my list to photograph for years was a huge jolt of inspiration. I honestly felt like a little kid. Even though we had limited time it was enough to get that camera working full speed ahead again.

Still uninspired to edit

There they sit. Those moments I was excited to see. Sitting. Waiting. Living on my hard drive. 

Every few days I’d open up Lightroom, and scroll through the images to see what I had there. Some good ones, some not so great but they all still took me back to those moments when I was so enthralled with the architecture of Frank Gehry and others.

What finally inspired me?

I’m not really sure but I started just trying some things. A few of the images were photographed with heavy shadowing in the frame. It was a place of bright light and dark shadows. I decided to embrace both. 

I’m not a huge fan of the over-dramatic, dark and moody architecture images that you typically see. You won’t find me with filters and long exposures when I’m photographing buildings. But, there are times when a building or image dictates to you what it wants to look like. 

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of those places. The more I looked at the images from there, the more I saw the movement, reflections, light, dark and shadows. They just felt like they needed to be different from my typical lighter style.

Don’t be afraid to try something different

So, off I went. First by trying some of the Lightroom presets I have. They gave me ideas. Then I took the first image into DxO Labs Silver Efex Pro and that was it. Found the preset that felt right. Back into Lightroom for targeted adjustments to help direct the light and dark more precisely.

Doing something different, made me feel reinspired to work on more of my images from that trip. Now I have a series of nine images that can be used together. It also sparked another idea to include both color and monochrome versions when sharing with art agencies. Something I think would look interesting together.

Thanks to digital and nondestructive editing, we have endless possibilities. We can play and try new or different things. Inspire yourself by doing something different. It may or may not turn out. Who cares! The idea is to jolt that part of your soul that needs to be inspired.