creative photography restored by rain

Feeling creative again on a rainy day

My wife just let me know that we’re in for three days of continuous rain. Having grown up on the west coast, I’m quite accustomed to our wet winters and often think that February is one of our dreariest months. Not anymore!

Last week I spent a few delightful hours in a downpour. I was with my friend Richard, driving around in his car and photographing through the windshield. We called it the “Jeep Filter”. I had been feeling creatively flat and uninspired for a few weeks and this activity was the kickstart I needed to see in a fresh way with my camera once again. We chuckled like children as we viewed the images on our camera monitors and felt like creative photography had joyfully returned. And, I was so thankful that the heavy rain did not let up! Three more days of rain? Bring it on!

A few of my favourites from a rainy day …

Creative photography restored in a rainstorm
No customers for the bench today!
red house in grass field.
This old house, in the middle of a turf farm, is well known among Langley photographers.
Willow trees in the rain
A cluster of willow trees happily soaking up the water.
bare tree in rain
A bare, lonely tree waits for the warmth of summer and a new coat of leaves.
No church services today!
The heavens opened above this church.
walking in the rain
Keeping dry under the umbrellas.

 

For Photographers: Finding a return to creative photography

As I said above, I had been feeling creatively flat for a while. It happens. Sometimes I feel like there’s nothing new to photograph. Other times I feel like I have nothing to say. It can be discouraging. But I’ve learned how to say goodbye, until it returns, to that feeling. Here are a few of the things I do to get going again.

  • It’s helpful to recognize this as normal and accept that it comes and goes. There’s nothing wrong with you. The important part is what you do next. Pushing yourself is the key.
  • When you’re looking for something new to photograph, you don’t need to go to an exotic location, as stimulating as that can be. It’s right around you, like the pictures above, shot in a different way. I keep a file on my computer called Inspiration. It includes photos I’ve found that I’d like to try one day. Feeling flat? I look in the folder for new ideas.
  • I have an app on my phone called “Learn365 Photography Assignment Generator“. It has more than a hundred assignments for you to try around the house, outside or anywhere. They’re organized into categories like composition, creative thinking, people, fun with light, and more. And, if you really want to go random, you can choose “Let Me Pick One For You”. Free!
  • Go out shooting with a friend. I always say that my best photography is alone, so that I don’t feel any pressure of someone waiting for me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t shoot with others. And, when I do, I invariably feel boosted by what they see and it then helps me to see in new ways.
  • Try a new approach. If you always shoot at 200 mm, horizontal format, on a tripod, etc., change it up! Go wide angle, vertical and stash the tripod. And try shooting somewhere new, like an antique store, second hand shop, or create a still life in a darkened room with a flashlight.

I hope there’s an idea in here that clicks for you. And, please comment. What works best for you to get going again?

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