In many places in the northern hemisphere, the fall and winter are moving in. The trees are losing their last colorful leaves and the gray and cold weather settles in. And this is also the time that I get an increasing amount of emails from photographers asking for inspiration during this often perceived as “bleak” season. Many photographers seem to put their cameras away as there appears to be nothing interesting to take pictures of during this season. And many don’t get their camera back out until the spring (photographers with job assignments excluded).
The advice that I often give to these photographers seeking inspiration is to focus on what is unique of a place or a season. I always say: “When things are drab and there is nothing interesting to shoot, try to capture the drabness.” In other words, try to put your emotion into the picture.
Here is another photographer’s quote that comes to my mind while I’m writing this post: “Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.” This is a quote by Magnum Photographer David Alan Harvey.
To give you a visual example of what I’m talking about here, I took my camera out for a photo walk and tried to capture how this fall day felt to me:
To better convert and intensify my perception of this day, I used one of my favorite creative lenses, the Lensbaby Composer Pro.
The selective focus and vignette help me to focus and intensify the look of common objects and things.
I set my camera to my preferred B&W jpg settings and see the combination of selective focus and B&W conversion right in my viewfinder. This enables me to see if I managed to convert my emotion from that moment straight into the camera. And it saves me the tedious process of trying to convert that emotion hours later in post processing on the computer – where I may have already forgotten how it really felt like.
I love the energy and activity that the spring and summer seasons have to offer. But I also appreciate the unique characteristics that the fall and the winter bring with them. I find myself to be fortunate to have four unique seasons where I live and I try to convey this in my images, too.
I hope that this post was an inspiration for you to go out and look for photo opportunities no matter of the season or the weather. And remember to shoot what it feels like, too. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
For more photography inspiration, you can also tune into Scott’s and mine Photofocus Inspiration Podcast here: https://photofocus.com/tag/photofocus-inspiration-podcast/ or you can subscribe directly on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/photofocus/id512223214
Marco's approach to photography is "reduce to the basics and focus on the story and the subject." Growing up with the limitations that film photography has taught him, he still enjoys the basic approach to photography today. For Marco the camera is a tool and a mere extension of his instincts.
Marco is the producer and co-host of the Photofocus #Inspiration and #Mirrorless podcasts episodes.
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