April 17, 2011

Where Inspiration Comes From

Most of the time when I go out and take a picture I have an image in my mind that I want to capture.  I preplan the location, the time, the angle. But most of my inspiration comes while on site.  And sometimes I think that is the best and truest form of inspiration.  The preplanning and pre-visualization gets me there to the location, gives me an idea before going out, but once I’m on site that’s when the true inspiration comes.  That is when I can say I came back with my own unique image instead of trying to copy a photo I was initially inspired by.  I want my true vision, not someone else's.  My inspiration while on site can come from several things that inspire me on a daily basis.  

Yesterday, I headed out for some kind of modern architectural photos and started at the Salt Lake City Library.  Such a great building, architecturally, photographically.  I knew this would be a good start.  I’ve photographed this building several times and have mostly come back with mediocre photos in comparison to the actual building.  So I set out again to find some kind of new angle.  I arrived on scene, tried the door and was informed by security that the library had closed at 6 o’clock.  I was a bit disappointed, but decided it would be fine and to focus on the exterior of the building.  Not being able to go inside turned out to be a benefit for my images.  Looking through the windows of the library gave me the inspiration and new take on the building I was hoping for. 

A few weeks earlier I set out to take photos of the Salt Lake City and Council building.  The photos were nothing new, but when I turned around from the location I was focusing on I was instantly inspired by a scene of lit windows looking into three separate levels of a building.  Like looking through a window into someone’s life or a building’s life.  

ISO 100  39mm f/22 25 sec

At the Salt Lake City Library that same kind of looking through the windows feel gave me the different angle I was looking for.  The interior design along with the modern architecture reminded me of the AMC television show Mad Men.  A clean cut, 60’s inspired, timeless, modern look.  The lighting drew out long shadows of the furniture and architectural lines, giving the scene a little more drama.  Looking through the windows also reminded me of the digital renditions architects use in their drawings.  Like what they would show a client to illustrate how great their building could look. 

 ISO 100 40mm f/8 1/125 sec Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer

 ISO 100 40mm f/8 1/50 sec Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer 

 ISO 100 40mm f/8 1/40 sec Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer 

 ISO 100 40mm f/8 1/200 sec Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer

I set out with an image and subject in my mind and came back with a different kind of image representing my subject in a different way.  I went out pursuing modern architecture, black and white, dramatic skies, clean lines, wide angle views and came back with my own unique images.

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