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We all have those days. Days where you know you want to do something with your camera or photographs, but the motivation tank is on Empty. I’ve been having some of those days recently and came up with a list to help pop me out of the rut and back to being productive. This list is by no means exhaustive and I’d appreciate any additions that work for you, in the comments section.
TIP #1 – Go for a walk
I know, I know. It’s one of the hardest things to do when you’re not feeling motivated. Even worse if it’s raining outside. But getting your bum off the chair or sofa and out the door is a great first step. It is a lot easier to just keep staring at the computer screen and letting your analytical mind wander, sometimes feeling like you’re accomplishing something, but getting your blood pumping and elevating your heart rate will help activate your creative mind. It doesn’t need to be a long or fast walk. Just 15 minutes will be enough to get the juices flowing.
It also helps because it removes you from an environment that is obviously not helping you become creative at the moment. I like this method because it requires no special equipment, clothes or location. Everyone has ‘outside’ out their front door. Just lace up some shoes or boots and get your heart going!
TIP #2 – 5 in a Half
5 in a Half is a challenge I give myself every time I’ve been away from the camera too long. It seems like a simple task; Take just 5 pictures within a half mile (or kilometer, no need to do the conversion math) of your home. I say it seems simple, but in this digital age, it’s sometimes *harder* to take just 5 pictures. Make each picture unique in some way, be it subject matter, camera angle, exposure settings. This task is great when following the first tip on taking a walk, as chances are you spotted something on your way back to the house that might make a good photo. The boot at left was a castaway along side the road that I’ve been meaning to shoot for a while. Nothing spectacular but it got the camera into my hand and turned on my creative mind to look for more content.
TIP # 3 – Check Past DPS Articles
Digital Photography School has already pointed out a number of ways to get motivated or feel inspired. Here’s a recap of the most useful:
TIP #4 – Be Random on Flickr
Flickr is a great place to find some inspiration with millions of photos available and thousands more being uploaded each minute. There is a place on the site which presents the most interesting things posted in the last seven days. Here you can find top notch photography as well as different perspectives on traditional subjects. Nine images are presented at a time and a reload button is presented to bring you nine more images. To be honest, it’s an amazingly good way to kill half a day as wonderful images just keep coming. There is also a monthly view located here which presents the most interesting photos from any given day.
Flickr is also the place to gain inspiration on a particular topic. Are you interested in barns, airplanes, Costa Rica, salsa dancing? The search box on every page of Flickr allows for instant transportation around the world.
TIP #5 – Fill in the Blank
Now it’s your turn! What do you do when you need some inspiration or motivation?
Peter is an avid photographer who enjoys travel, portraiture and wildlife photography. A travel related blog of his past and current shenanigans can be found at The Carey Adventures.