wp_head() Where Do I Find Inspiration « portraits without borders
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Where Do I Find Inspiration

Every once in a while my creative tank gets low on nitro, and I have to refill it. For me inspiration is being in a state of mind where nothing is impossible. It always comes in the form a trigger. It’s like the domino effect, one idea influences something and so on. Here are some ways I find that first domino.

Rembrandt, Monet, and Michelangelo

Watch a movie – I don’t just watch the movie, I watch how they light the scene to match the mood. I study the angle the director has chosen. I watch how they change the scene to follow the dialog. I can do this all day. It keeps me sharp, and motivates me to think beyond what I know.

Go to the museum - I know visual art started long before photography was invented. I watch a few of the master painters like Monet, Michelangelo, Rembrandt to name a few. Study how they light a subject. Those folks were the first Masters of light (and shade). They used light to convey emotion, and status, and feeling for there masterpieces.

Go sit at a cafe – I find a cafe with busy foot traffic and watch people move, interact, laugh, smile, etc. This helps me look deeper at the human form, and as long as I have my coffee and laptop it’s a nice way to pass time.

Live Theatre – Having one of my degrees in theatre I truly appreciate this art form. What I learn from live theatre is how light falls on people in real time. How it falls real time is much different than on a movie screen. Having done lighting design in college, I know how important to understand quality, direction, and quantity of light.

Travel – There’s something about getting lost and finding your way in a foreign land that appeals to me as a photographer – the sights and sounds, and most importantly the people that you meet. Travelling refreshes your mind and offers you a variety of perspectives on things that you can’t imagine in a familiar environment.

Dancers – The dancer’s bodylines, big jumps and long leaps are the most amazing moves to capture. May it be classic or contemporary, I get captivated with shapes and expressions that dancing delivers.

Old Photographs – I love looking at vintage photographs because it seems like there is a secret in every image. The mystery behind the old photographs draws me in and encourages me to deliver some of my photos with the same kind of “teaser” effect on people.

Other Exceptional Photographers – I also get my inspiration by looking at some of the great works of photographers I look up to – Diane Arbus, Emagine Cunningham, David Baily, John-Luc Brassard, and Richard Avidon. Their artistic vision and love for the craft pushes me to avoid photographic mediocrities and to create a style I could call my own.

I know I left out a few things, but what I’m trying to convey is do something that will trigger your creativity. We ALL have creativity, but sometimes our creativity needs a wrest, sometimes our creativity needs another avenue to come out from, our job as artists is to find that avenue. Happy shooting.

Written by Ashton Boni