Tag Archives: motivation

Using Photography to Appreciate Life

by Michael Zhang on PetaPixel from hailey bartholomew on Vimeo.

Back in 2008, photographer Hailey Bartholomew was feeling down even though everything seemed to be going for her in life. After getting some counseling, she began an exercise in reflection and gratitude by purchasing enough Polaroid film for an entire year, and taking a single photo every day of something she is grateful for. Before long, she began noticing things that she otherwise would have overlooked, and her life was transformed by simply looking for the small things in life that are easy to take for granted.

Seeing and celebrating the good in my life affected not only the way I felt spiritually and physically but it improved my relationships with others too. It was not long before it was hard to only take a single photo each day. The more I noticed and took photos the more I began to notice the good and great moments in my life and want to capture them. [#]

After sharing her project, which she calls a 365 Grateful project, through Flickr, Bartholomew is on a mission to spread gratefulness and an appreciation of life to other photo enthusiasts.

365 grateful (via Digital Photography School)

via Using Photography to Appreciate Life.

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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Inspiration, Musings, Worth a Look


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For Photographers, It’s Not What You Look at — It’s What You See

April 18 | By Harrison McClary

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau

This is one of my favorite quotes. While Thoreau did not say this about photography, it’s about the best advice you can give to someone in our profession.

Photography is not about pressing a button on a camera. It is about telling a story — communicating what you see when you look at your subject.

Same Subject, Different Stories

Different photographers can photograph the same subject but tell a different story. This is true for all types of photography.

For example, let’s say you are a sports photographer covering a basketball game. The game is very close; there is a lot of excitement in the game and on the sidelines.

As the clock winds down, another photographer might focus all his attention on the court. But you spot a player on the sidelines, waving a towel to cheer on his team, that captures the emotion of the game even better.

Or let’s say you are hiking in the mountains and see a stream surrounded by lush vegetation.

Another photographer might go with a wide shot, but this seems boring to you. So you find an interesting rock formation to place in the foreground, providing contrast and giving a stronger feel for where you are.

Or perhaps you decide to go with a detail or macro shot instead. Why photograph a whole tree when a single leaf tells your story?

Training Yourself to Notice

We should always be looking for pretty light, interesting juxtapositions, leading lines and other visually stimulating subjects.

At the same time, we should always be looking for stories to tell.

Peer inside a building with unusual windows. See if someone is looking out, or reading a book, or painting.

Walk through an old cemetery. Maybe you’ll find someone pressure-washing the headstones.

Drive alongside a long, winding white fence. Perhaps you’ll come across a horse being fed by its owner.

Always be observing. Always be looking for interesting subjects, and thinking about what elements would make your photos even better.

The more you do this, the more often you will come across these elements — because you have trained yourself to notice them.

via For Photographers, It’s Not What You Look at — It’s What You See | Black Star Rising.

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Posted by on April 21, 2011 in Featured, Inspiration, Worth a Look


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Hints, Tips & Motivation

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. We have all the gear, all the enthusiasm but taking that first step out the door seems impossible. I mean, you want to take great shots, right? So suddenly the ‘right location’ becomes important, or waiting until you have completed a course, or purchased that essential piece of equipment.

The problem with this, is that you will be eternally waiting. And that means, you won’t be shooting. So I’ve gathered together a few of my favourite articles and rules that I use as my major Hints, Tips or Motivation to get out there and get photographing.

Fix the Shots You Already Have – In this article on Post Production, Camera House explain the basic things to look for when trying to make your shots look incredible. Post production is just as necessary in the digital world of photography as it was when we had analogue cameras. While this article doesn’t go into detail of the steps needed to achieve these effects, sometimes I just need to see the images looking good to feel inspired and motivated to take more shots!

Take a Photograph Right Now – Seriously, it can be hard to imagine taking photos right now. I’m in my house, there’s nothing decent to shoot. Right? Wrong! Read this fantastic Lightstalking article about your kitchen drawer and you will look at items in your house differently – creatively – and feel inspired to see if you can achieve the same drama from a few utensils.

Get Tactile – There’s nothing like the feel of 35mm film in your hands. You hold it up to the light and squint, trying to recall when that old photo was taken and how different it would be now you have digital. Sometimes inspiration needs a boost because everything we do these days is all in digital form. Email vs Snail Mail, Digital Cameras vs 35mm Film, Photoshop vs Artistic Creations. It can often improve your viewpoint by getting back to basics and creating something tactile that can be held in your fingers, and ignite your passions. I found this clever Poopscape article about creating a lamp that showcases old film and find that already I’m just itching to take more photographs!

Refresh the Composition – I found a fab article by PictureCorrect that gives some very handy hints and tips for composition and how to create dynamic, exciting images simply by changing your stance. While the article won’t make you want to grab your camera and run outside to experiment, it will sit in the back of your mind and ruminate… something that is fantastic for inspiration!

Find a Muse – I love this Pentax Body article for giving me reason to walk again, with a friend. Just a casual stroll down any street. And see if I can fulfill the criteria laid out in this article. Sometimes you just need a push in a general direction to feel the motivation and inspiration bubbling up. If the article doesn’t do it, and you’re mobile, then get yourself an app. There are plenty to choose from*, but have a look at Photographers Muse, Camera+ or read up on the top 100 apps for Photography.

No matter what works for you, the key is to stay motivated, stay inspired, and keep shooting! Post your pictures in the comments section!

* Please note that apps available differ from one store to another. Eg, the US apple store has a different range of apps available compared to the UK and Australian versions. Some apps may charge fees.
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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in General, Inspiration, Worth a Look


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