Thursday, January 28, 2010

Photograph What You Don't Know

This post was inspired by an article I read on Steven Pressfield's Blog "Writing what you Don't Know".  Everything I read here could easily relate to photography and I wanted to share my thoughts with you on this.

Photograph What You Don't Know

I do this all of the time.  In fact, the majority of my self portraits were taken with no premeditated thought or planning.  Sure, I have ideas in my head of what I'd like to do - but I find when I actually go to shoot, they all fly out the window and are replaced by "the moment".  I do random things like balancing my camera on things other than a tripod, taking long exposures but not counting the time - I just hold the shutter open for as long as it 'feels right' to in that moment.  It feels a bit haphazard and I'm sure if someone were to observe me doing this they would think that I don't know what I'm doing.

Everyone should do this.  Let your subconscious take over when you're shooting sometime and see what happens.  Whatever you are shooting, whether it's self portraits, landscapes, or something else that moves you - just do it.  Photograph something in a way you've never tried before - experiment!  You will be surprised at what will happen, and you might even end up with some great results.  Who knows, you might even find yourself inspired.

After all, that's why we choose to shoot with Holgas, and other toy cameras.  For the unpredictability, the limited controls, the freedom.  Take it one step further and forget everything you 'should' do, or what you usually do.  Do something different.


This is just one way of getting out of a rut and feeling inspired, one that works for me.  What do you feel is important for creating inspiration to take photographs? 

If you try this out, and have some photos or a story you'd like to share from the process, email them to me at  I would love to hear from you!


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