We’ve all had one of those days: you want to take photos, you need to do it, but you feel like the inspiration has deserted you forever. Even famous photographer Bob Holmes feels like this sometimes. But fortunately, there are ways to overcome it, and he shares his methods with you. These techniques will help you get inspired again and improve your photos in an instant.
1. Look at lines
When your mind wanders and you can’t seem to focus on photography, try looking at lines. Find repetition or guiding lines to form your composition.
Look for diagonal lines. They can give a feeling of vitality in a photo.
3. Horizontal lines
Other than diagonals, also look for horizontal lines. If you implement them in your photos, they can create a sense of calmness.
4. Capture gestures
Look for gestures in people and try capturing them. They can make your photo “pop.” Look for the position of hands, legs, and feet and focus your attention and composition on them.
Look for elements to add punctuation to your photos. It can be a splash of color, a person or an animal. These elements can help elevate your photo.
6. Put energy in your photos
Look for “energetic scenes.” In other words, search for movement and show it in your photos. This will add a sense of action. You can add some blur by using a slow shutter speed to emphasize any movement and its direction. In this case, make sure to hold the camera properly: hold your elbows in and squeeze the shutter gently. This will cause enough blur to show the movement, yet your subject will still be visible.
7. Be receptive
Don’t push it. Free your mind, relax and allow the photos to come to you.
8. Look at art for inspiration
When you feel like your muse has abandoned you, find inspiration in other works of art. Bob Holmes gets inspired by paintings and he advises that you “don’t just look, but see.” Try to understand why you like a certain work of art and why it inspires you. You can also get inspired by other types of art like music or movies.
9. Look at photography books
Last but not least, Holmes suggests you reach for photography books and get inspired by famous photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastião Salgado, Irving Penn, and others.
Like everyone else, I sometimes have periods when I’m uninspired. When it happens, I usually rekindle my inspiration with music. But, often have the opposite problem when I’m in a new city, which has the same result as being uninspired. When everything is new and interesting, I get overwhelmed by impressions and I can’t take a decent photo. In such situations, I think Holmes’ techniques are priceless.
What are the techniques you use to boost your inspiration?
[9 tips for amazing photos with Bob Holmes | Advancing Your Photography]
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