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Focus on Photographer's Block

Updated on August 3, 2013

Things to Photograph and How to Find Them

Whatever the artistic endeavor, blocks happen. Photography is no exception. A few months back, some friends of mine started a photography group. The rules are very simple: one original photo, taken that day, from every member.

At first, this was a glorious inspiration. I ventured boldly out, camera in hand, to all of the spots that immediately came to mind. I experimented with my photo editing software's every script and filter, and explored the strange recesses of my camera's most bewildering menu options.

Stuck in a Photo Rut

The group grew rapidly, and produced amazing photographs every day. Many members were serious photographers, and others, like me, beginners. Questions and answers flew, inspiration and ideas flowed freely.

A lot of the folks in this group are from my area. By a week or two in, I had seen three or a dozen shots already posted of every idea I'd been saving. I was going to have to expand my limited grasp of photography, come up with more ideas, or post exactly the same picture we'd all already seen a dozen times.

Inevitably, this was the moment when my mind went completely blank. For the next few weeks, I just kind of pointed the camera at something and shot at least once a day, took the least boring result of the day and did my best to do something interesting with it before uploading.

In the process of making it through that rough patch, I learned a little bit about photography, a little bit about finding things to photograph, and a lot about editing lousy photographs into something interesting. I'm a beginner, a baby photographer, and can only tell you what worked for me. I welcome any and all suggestions from my readers! I hope that you find something useful on this page, and that inspiration, which will return, does so quickly.

All photos on this page taken by the author.

Find Beautiful Photographs in Ugly or Boring Places - Or Take a Beautiful Picture of Something Ugly

A tiny spot of beauty
A tiny spot of beauty

Magical treasures hide in the strangest places

The trouble with going to beautiful places to take your beautiful photographs is that they're quite likely to be filled with people taking their own beautiful photographs while intruding on your shots and stealing the last parking places. In my case, the other issue was that every beautiful place in town had already been shared with my photography group. Our group page was starting to look like a travel brochure.


At night, the wastewater treatment facility is a stinky wonderland

One of the cool things about photography, though, is the ability to exclude unwanted elements from your picture. Some, like the aroma of the waste water recovery facility whose lights so beautifully frame the tree above, are excluded by nature. Other unwanted features can be excluded by carefully framing your shot, cropping, or editing.




Flowers grow less pretty and more interesting as they die

Photos of beauty you find or create in unlikely surroundings are likely to be interesting and unique. Sometimes, subjects that are definitely not a decorative feature in the live scene can also make cool components of a photograph. The dead blossoms on my camellias are certainly not my favorite part of the view, but up close they're more interesting to the camera than their pristine younger siblings.

Extraordinary Everyday Photography - Find Beautiful Photographs Hidden All Around You

Wouldn't it be fabulous to simply strike out, camera in hand, for exotic and beautiful lands? Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring have written an excellent guide to doing just that. No travel required.

Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are
Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are

You don't have to travel to the ends of the Earth to find striking and original subjects for your photography. Learn to see the opportunities for art everywhere you go. Not only does hunting for beautiful photographs in your everyday life help develop your photography skills, it also helps develop your appreciation of the wonders you pass every day.

 

Take Your Camera with You. Every Time. Always. - When You See a Picture, Pull Over and Take It

Old Jeep
Old Jeep

A chance encounter with a cool old jeep

Wherever you live, there are probably some major attractions to photograph. Where I live, the ocean probably holds the number one spot. And so, every day, thousands of people stop on the beaches or cliffs and take a picture or two. Many of them are very beautiful, and almost all of them look just like all the other pictures of the beach taken that day. Also, parking's lousy, and there are usually a bunch of people holding cameras in your shot.


The wharf's always crowded, but the quiet cliffs above have their own charm

Take advantage of your knowledge of your home town! Skip the scenic outlooks and the throngs, and head for a vantage point with a great view somewhere on your daily drive. If there's something folks just love to photograph in your town, do you know of a secret spot where you might get a better shot of it from a distance?


The ocean's just as pretty from a less crowded vantage point

The picture above and the one below were taken at a corner I pass every day on my way home from work. It's on a hilltop in a suburban neighborhood, with no throngs of eager tourists. The only hurdle was overcoming some initial awkwardness about parking my big, messy truck in front of some stranger's pretty house and setting up the tripod in the middle of the sidewalk. Contributing to this awkward feeling, my "tripod" at the time was a large, dirty stepladder, on which the folding mechanism broke long ago. I felt pretty conspicuous, but people seemed amused and interested.


My first attempt at fake tilt-shift, taken from afar

As it turned out, the folks in that neighborhood are very friendly! I met a really nice older couple the first time I stopped there, and wound up standing on the corner with them talking about their travels while I took my pictures. Since then, I never hesitate to park wherever I am, safety permitting, when I see a cool picture ready for the taking.

Toys Make Interesting Subjects for Photography - And Photography Makes a Great Excuse to Buy Toys

Zombies in the Woods
Zombies in the Woods

Toys offer easy action and drama for your photographs

Some days, there's just nothing happening for me out in the Real World. I've carried my camera around all day, scanned my surroundings for interesting colors and lines, and everything just looks unremarkable. When inspiration seems determined to avoid me, prop photography is my treasured failsafe. And for me, prop photography usually means pictures of toys.


This tiny dude came from a vending machine. Isn't he friendly-looking up close?

Taking pictures of toys carries all the benefits of taking pictures of people. Like people, many toys have character and expression, and make inherently interesting subjects for photography. Unlike people, toys are delighted to stay still for as many shots as you'd like, assume weird or embarrassing positions and hold them indefinitely, and immediately drop anything they're doing to pose for you at any hour of the day or night without compensation.


She'll pose for hours without a break

Toys for photography don't need to be high-quality. Really, they don't even need to be of passable quality. If a toy is too flimsy or silly looking to suit your purpose, you can probably fix that in post-processing. If not, try taking a picture of its shadow. Toys with poorly rendered details but great general outlines, like most of the cheapest figurines out there, are perfect for this.


Fun with shadows

The shadow pattern in the picture above is from a flashlight shining through a glass chess board. This brings me handily to the next tactic I found helpful when I was fighting off the "I don't know what to take a picture of" blues...

Hang Out in the Dark with a Flashlight - Night Photography and Light Painting

A simple photo taken in the dark
A simple photo taken in the dark

In the dark with a flashlight, you choose what to show to the camera.

Exploring different techniques, tricks, and styles can really help when you're in a rut. For me, one of the easiest and most entertaining ways to put an interesting spin on a picture is to turn out the lights. Night photography (or "in the hallway with the lights off and towels under the doors" photography) offers lots of interesting opportunities for play with long exposures and different light sources.


Creative lighting helps bring out the details on this little model car

One of my favorite techniques for photography in the dark is light painting. Light painting is a term that encompasses a pretty wide range of techniques. Some people use the term to refer to simply using a small hand-held light to literally "paint" a subject with light, revealing only the details you want to appear in the photograph.


Monkey Wrench: yeah, I'm not above a cheap pun.

At the other end of the spectrum, light painting can refer to the cool trick shots you can achieve by actually directing a moving light source at the lens. In this case, the light itself appears like a solid "brush stroke" in the final image.


My first light painting photograph

Light painting requires a reasonably long exposure, as you're moving the light source to either create a pattern in the image or illuminate various parts of your subject. While it's great to use a DSLR with the option of setting the shutter speed to "bulb," this is by no means necessary. I use both a Nikon D5000 and a point-and-shoot Fujifilm Finepix SL300, which has a shutter speed limit of 8 seconds. The latter just requires faster hands and sometimes a few more practice shots.


A quiet night in the garden with a flashlight

Light painting can be done either indoors or out. The only strict requirements are a dark setting, a camera, and a hand-held light source. Due to the longer exposures required for light painting and most night photography, a tripod is very, very handy. Very. That being said, you can absolutely do without by finding or creating a steady surface at an appropriate height and resting your camera on it. I carried a stepladder around in the back of my truck for ages.

More About Night Photography and Light Painting - My Favorite Tutorials and Guides for Shooting in the Dark

While night photography and light painting are two techniques I really dig, I still have a lot to learn! The single most useful thing I've learned so far about photography in the dark is this: Take a lot of lousy pictures. I suppose, really, that's the single most helpful thing I've learned about photography in general, but it's doubly true for night photography and triply true for light painting. For me, anyway.

If you take a lot of lousy shots, and just try not to take shots the same lousy way twice, you will stumble upon wonderful things. If you do some reading while you're at it, you'll stumble upon those wonderful things sooner and more frequently!

Pester Your Pets - Animals Make Great Subjects for Photography

A very patient dog poses in sunglasses
A very patient dog poses in sunglasses

Her future's so bright...

While animals won't hold still as patiently as toys, they do offer inherently entertaining poses and antics. Many pets seem to love having their pictures taken, provided you keep it fun for everyone. The camera means attention!


What a sweet face. Who'd guess she had my favorite book for dinner?

My most frequently featured animal model is Ruby, a young mutt who loves the spotlight. Ruby is a rescue dog, whisked away from the San Jose animal shelter hours before she was scheduled to meet an untimely end. She's very sweet and affectionate, and destructive as only a young, strong, untrained dog can be. We both treasure our photo shoots: she for the attention and I for the calmer, quieter dog who emerges before the camera.


Tea with a charming guest in my mother's back yard.

Wild animals also make wonderful photography subjects. Chance encounters with animals are one more great reason to take your camera everywhere! If you keep a little garden or grow flowers in your yard, the addition of a small bird feeder or birdbath may help encourage visits from some charming models for your photography.

Fear Not Thy Photo Editing Software - Post-Processing is Your Friend

Before and after editing a snapshot of a friend.
Before and after editing a snapshot of a friend.

Playful editing can bring life back into a dull snapshot.

Compared to the brain behind your eyes, cameras are really stupid. When your eyes see something, they know all kinds of things about it. They know that little, distant things are actually big, and that bright things next to brighter things are still bright, and all sorts of other wonderful bits of information about the thing that's bouncing light at you. Not only do they know this stuff, but they engage in post-processing based on this information without you even needing to think about it.

The camera doesn't know any of that stuff. It does what you tell it to do, if that. In some ways, this makes it a much more reliable observer, as there are no bits being filled in from memory and understanding. For artistic purposes, though, this can be a frustrating limitation.


The ocean was lovely that day, but my hurried snapshot was not.

This is where photo editing software comes into play. Playing with new techniques or filters in your software is a great way to change pace when inspiration runs dry. If you normally make heavy use of photo editing software, try going a week without! If the switch to working solely in the camera doesn't inspire renewed creativity, the return of your full toolbox at the end of the week may.

I use GIMP, a free and powerful image editing program with a nearly inexhaustible array of plugins and add-ons. GIMP runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems, and suits my needs perfectly. There are, of course, a wide array of other options, ranging from in price from free to figures that should make their peddlers blush.

My Cameras - Two Cameras I Love to Use

You can take a great picture with literally any camera. Some of the coolest pictures I've seen in our group were taken on phones. The most important thing is just to have a camera you like to use and take it everywhere you go.

That being said, some cameras are just a joy to use. I don't necessarily mean the fanciest cameras, though there are certainly high-end cameras I'd love to own if I had the money! In every price range, there are just some cameras that offer great features for the money and simple, intuitive controls. The two I use at the moment were chosen for the feature-to-price ratio, and I've found them both easy and enjoyable to use.

Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera & 18-55mm G VR DX AF-S & 55-300mm VR Zoom Lens
Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera & 18-55mm G VR DX AF-S & 55-300mm VR Zoom Lens

I actually own the D5000, but if I were buying it new today I'd cough up the small difference for the next version, the D5100. It's essentially the same camera, but everything's a little better. Resolution jumps from 12 to 16MP with this model, and it offers significantly less noise at higher ISOs, a plus for night and indoor action photography.

 

Most of the beginning photographers I know, myself included, frequently find themselves struggling to find inspiration for that next photograph. Seasoned photographers may encounter this less frequently, but I have it on good authority that even the most talented and knowledgeable professional photographers still sing the photographer's block blues once in a while. I've shared the techniques and subjects that keep me smiling at my camera even during creative dry spells. I'd love to hear about what has worked for you!

What Works for You? - How Do You Fight off Photographer's Block?

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    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Haven't figured out a trick to fend that block off yet. I'm between cameras, so at the moment I'm loaded with inspiration (always am when I don't have a decent camera handy!).

    • profile image

      ColettaTeske 4 years ago

      Thank you for the great ideas and the inspiration. I've been using The GIMP since it first came out. I love it and it works wonderfully with my new graphics tablet!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @anonymous: A group is so great for motivation. Best of luck!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @JackNimble: Yeah! Playing with photos in a good editor is almost as much fun as taking them to start with.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for the lens and information! I think I would like to start a local photography group in my area! I think this would be a great idea!

    • JackNimble profile image

      JackNimble 4 years ago

      cool lens. nice ideas. Photo editing can be fun. nice examples of what a difference editing can make.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @CarrieM925: You know, one of the sweet daydreams running through my pointy little head when I first embarked on this journey to learn the basics of photography was that it would be an "easy" artistic alternative for days when the words weren't flowing... I was saddened, though it seems obvious in retrospect, to find that "blocks" seem to be possible with any kind of artistic endeavor. Maybe the "artistic" part isn't even necessary. Maybe plumber's block and ditch-digger's block are problems, too!

    • CarrieM925 profile image

      CarrieM925 4 years ago

      Cool photos. As a writer I know all about writer's block but I never considered that there may be Photographer's Block as well. Great tips for getting out there and taking photos

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Wonderful pictures! :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      You have some incredible pictures here. Pinned.

    • menskincaretips profile image

      menskincaretips 4 years ago

      I recently took a few photography courses and what I am working on most is composition and following the rules to compose my photos. It's a lot of fun, and the more you practice the more you learn!

    • profile image

      crstnblue 4 years ago

      Excellent lens! Glad to find it and learn few more things about photography!

      Keep writing & bring a smile on our - readers - faces! : )

    • profile image

      kulla 4 years ago

      Cool pics. Really interesting lens

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @wleon63: Thank you!

    • wleon63 profile image

      wleon63 4 years ago

      You have produced a fantastic lens here. Well done. I really enjoyed reading it.

    • Victor243 profile image

      Victor 4 years ago from Vietnam

      The photos with toys are very wonderful. I love them. This is an interesting lens.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow, LotD... wait, I don't remember that, either :) Pretty sure it's a bug. I don't have the LotD trophy, and this lens doesn't show up on the LotD blog as far as I can see. I've filed a bug report, but will still take a moment to join in the dance of joy ;)

    • EmmaBrown1 profile image

      EmmaBrown1 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens. I really like the idea of buying toys for photography reasons :)

    • mattcut profile image

      mattcut 4 years ago

      thank you for this amazing lens - I think I'll be shooting better pictures after reading it ! Exquisite !

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I don't know how I missed this as LotD, doing the dance of joy with you now. You are an artist with a camera and inspiring others to look beyond what they may see, how excellent in every possible way! :)

    • worldflashpacker profile image

      worldflashpacker 4 years ago

      So great photography ideas to inspire the creative juices.

    • profile image

      surabhinafdey 4 years ago

      wonderfull ideas....m gonna suggest my photographer friend to read this...

    • profile image

      sybil watson 4 years ago

      Great ideas! I take my camera with me everywhere I go too - living in Hawaii, you never know what surprise is around the next corner.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @djroll: Thank you, that's very kind! I find looking at photographs others took helpful, too. You never know when something you see will jog a little inspiration loose in the ol' noggin.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @chocochipchip: I agree! Toy photography of all kinds is just so much fun!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Keith J Winter: Thanks for commenting! I've heard from a few professional photographers that they actually became more prone to feeling blocked when they quit their "day jobs"... I suppose that makes sense, as there's a lot more pressure to take brilliant photos if you're a professional ;)

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @anonymous: That's terrific! I'll bear this in mind as I work up some courage...

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @CuriousBoy: Creativity-paralysis... yes, exactly!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @MichaelDubrovnik: That's a lovely idea! We have lots of folks in our group who use cellphones, and until recently the cameras on most phones outperformed my actual camera ;) What a sweet way to keep track of life through your family's eyes.

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      djroll 4 years ago

      When I get photographers block, I find inspiration from people like you. Thanks for sharing. :-). Love your photos.

    • chocochipchip profile image

      chocochipchip 4 years ago

      I've seen my friends photograph Japansese figures. It might sound like something for children but I think it's a great topic for photography to

    • Keith J Winter profile image

      Keith Winter 4 years ago from Spain

      I do photography for a living, and still get photographer's block. Great lens and some good advice.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @hntrssthmpsn: yeah I know the feeling..but in my experience, people on the street don't seem to mind if you keep your distance and they are not doing something unusual. Strangers seem to enjoy when I take their photos and even ask me for a copy!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @espio007: I agree. For activities I took up not just willingly but eagerly, it's really funny how much "forcing" I need to be productive with either practice!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @jkolnick: Thank you! I appreciate your kind words... though having seen your photos I'm hard pressed to imagine you've ever taken an "ordinary" one ;)

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      cleanyoucar 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these great tips!

    • profile image

      CuriousBoy 4 years ago

      Great lens, interesting subject!

      From a certain point of view nothing different from the Writer's Block.

      (same comments also for professional writers - read what the author of this lens has written above)

      As to me I "get-the-block" each time I have to take pictures for a contest.

      Sort of creativity-paralysis...

    • profile image

      MichaelDubrovnik 4 years ago

      Great lens! In my house, we have a monthly photography contest and this month's subject is "happy peanuts"! We're not pro, we do it mostly by our cellphones. It's a good way to get closer to my kids and grandchildren, plus fill up the hallway with lots of photos.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Wonderful! You know, I find portraits challenging largely because I'm somewhat shy, and pointing a camera at a stranger always seems very bold. My friends and family have grown tired of the camera, so I'll need to work up the courage sooner or later!

    • espio007 profile image

      espio007 4 years ago

      Cool lens, having a block can always be frustrating but I often find that when I am doing something creative I get more ideas as opposed to when I'm not doing anything. Also, challenging yourself to create something everyday really forces you to be imaginative.

    • profile image

      jkolnick 4 years ago

      I found your lens wonderfully fascinating. I also find that taking ordinary photos and turning them into master pieces can be fun too. Keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like these photos, i am a amateur photographer, and i am good at the photoshop.

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very cool, nice photos

    • Victor243 profile image

      Victor 4 years ago from Vietnam

      i like Canon because of the high quality images and comfortable using

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      cool! I loved your ideas. I face the same problem sometimes. what I like to do is take a walk in the neighborhood and take my camera. Some people are always there with interesting expressions. Everybody seems to tell a story. Actually portraits are not my style in general and thus it offers a fresh change.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      A thoroughly enjoyable visit - thank you.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Max_Graime: Hi there! I use GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) rather than Photoshop, but yes, I did do some color work on that one! To start, I used a tiny, bright blue LED light to make the streak, and a softer red led light shining lower to get the red light. In the raw picture, of course, these mostly turned out white, so I duplicated the original layer, adjusted its curves till I had the colors I wanted, which made the scene turn mostly black, and then set the new layer mode to "overlay" and adjusted opacity till the light streaks and the scene itself both had decent color. I'm not very familiar with Photoshop, but I believe that the process should be largely the same there.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @wyzeguru: Yeah! Carrying your camera means you're ready to answer when opportunity knocks!

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      Max_Graime 4 years ago

      I've never seen a light painting like that... did you photoshop the picture get those teal and magenta colors in there?

    • street2linen profile image

      street2linen 4 years ago

      Beautiful and funny photos. Thank you!

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these wonderful, offbeat pictures.

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      john9229 4 years ago

      Interesting lens! Very nice photos.

    • justramblin profile image

      justramblin 4 years ago

      Love your intro photo, and all of your photos as a matter of fact. I learned some great tricks here (love the flashlight on the flowers) I do take my camera everywhere as you do. Thanks for a really fun read and wonderful shots.

    • Jeri Baker profile image

      Jeri Baker 4 years ago

      This is a great lens. Thanks for the ideas and the photos.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Scarlettohairy: Thank you so much! This is the first time I've shared any of my photos outside my group, and I felt a little intimidated writing about photography since I'm still a beginner. Kind comments like this keep me waggin' my tail and walkin' on sunshine :)

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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Elyn MacInnis: Thank you! I absolutely agree about phone cameras. Some of the people in our group have taken some great shots using only the cameras in their phones!

    • Ana Dilber profile image

      Ana Dilber 4 years ago

      I really do not know, I have not figure out the way. But these are really nice advice, I could use some of these next time I go photographing.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @rob-hemphill: Thank you!!! I've enjoyed several of your photography lenses, and appreciate your kind words!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I really loved your pictures on your lens about black vultures. What a great, unique photo opportunity, and you had your camera with you!

    • wyzeguru profile image

      wyzeguru 4 years ago

      Some great ideas here, I feel inspired. I always carry my camera with me as you never know what might happen! My best shots were nearly always me be in the right place at the right time.

    • samanthaperry profile image

      samanthaperry 4 years ago

      Nice Photos, I enjoyed reading your Lens.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Dressage Husband: I couldn't agree more... having the camera with you (and taking it out and looking through it a lot, even if nothing is immediately apparent as interesting!) is huge. Love your French ski trip story, and will have to bear that in mind the next time cameras come out at a group function!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @leatherwooddesign: Best of luck!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @RawBill1: Thank you!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: Thank you, and happy shooting!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @shellys-space: Hah, I know what you mean! Best of luck.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Deborah Swain: Wonderful!!! My siblings enjoy film photography, but I'm the least patient of the three of us, though I do love to visit a darkroom and watch photos emerge in their baths. So magical!

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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @hmommers: I love your "looking through the square hole" lens, and I dig your "Fiesta" gallery. Our group does weekly themes some weeks, but I haven't created any themed collections like that, and it looks like a good way to spark some fresh inspiration!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Wow, I love ALL of your photos. Of course Monkey Wrench and the nonsticky water treatment plant are favs. I love your ideas for getting great shots out of ho-hum original shots. And your angles are so intriguing. Thanks!

    • JohnMichael2 profile image

      JohnMichael2 4 years ago

      nice touch to an interesting subject

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I guess I just roll with the punches. There is so much to photograph where I live it is easy to do. I love having an iphone. This way I always have a camera handy. My favorite photo here? The birdie on the teacup. How special. I should ask the birds here over for tea! You have done a great job investigating photographer's block! Thanks!

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      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Great lens that opens one's thinking. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 4 years ago from Ireland

      You have some fabulous pictures here and I love the way you work with light, great lens.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @kimmanleyort: I hear more experienced, or perhaps just more intuitively capable, photographers talk about noticing the light a lot, but I only catch a sweet little glimpse of what they mean during the hours around sunrise and sunset, when everything's tinted wonderful colors and sometimes the beams of light are almost tangible. Usually, I have to be looking through the camera to tell whether I might like a picture, and so I spend a lot of time wandering too and fro with the camera in front of me, and hoping that someday I develop a better "eye" for light and shapes :) I do notice that I seem to see more details everywhere lately, so maybe there's hope!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      It's amazing what I can find to photograph without ever leaving home (we live on 4.5 acres). Like your ideas to beat the block and agree 100% about always having a camera with me.

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      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I think keeping a camera with you at all times helps remove block. Start looking for the unusual in things I did some macro photography as a kid of the bubbles in a coloured glass paperweight. Nobody could ever guess what it was! Although everyone liked the effect, for a beginner you are showing a lot of talent already. My best tip is take the pictures others don't.

      A group of us went skiing in France and on the return the others had shots of each other and the town. I had beautiful landscapes of the mountains and clouds, the local flowers etc. The others were too pre-occupied with each other. When we presented our shots at a later gathering they actually asked if I had been to the same place, none of them had realised how beautiful the place was!

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      Marisa Horn 4 years ago from Rintown Pa

      Great ideas, I have yet to really spend time manipulating all my lousy stuff but you have given me hope ty :)

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      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      This is an awesome Lens. For a beginner photographer, you have some incredible photos! To me, it seems that you are very experienced. Well done!

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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @retta719: Thank you!

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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @aesta1: Light painting is one of my favorite block-breakers, and my flashlights have become almost as much a part of my standard photography kit as my cameras! I really hope you enjoy it, and would love to see your results!

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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Aibrean82: Some of my favorite photos posted to our group were taken with phones :) Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of equipment that's on my wish-list, but you can take great pictures with any camera!

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      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      Oh. Wow.

      Your photographs leave me speechless - and your ideas have me photo-inspired!

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      poldepc lm 4 years ago

      beautiful lens, well done; thanks for sharing

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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Rosetta Slone: Thank you, that's very kind! I'm lucky to have wound up in my photography group, where I can ask how photos I like were done and find new things to try.

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      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I always have photographer's block, but your photos gave me some inspiration!

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      Deborah Swain 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      LOVE this lens. I've rediscovered the joy of photography through using old analogue cameras.

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      hmommers 4 years ago

      A real nice lens! I want to try this light painting. Thanks!

      You describe the same process I had (100 pictures all looking alike), as I have described in my lens 'looking through the square hole'. My way to overcome a photographers block is themephotography.

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      kimmanleyort 4 years ago

      Photography is a constant source of inspiration for me. When I'm feeling blocked, I just notice the light. Your passion for your new hobby shines through this wonderful lens. I love that you're trying new things and are part of a group.

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      Loretta 4 years ago from United States

      Beautiful photography! Thank you for sharing it with us :)

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      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Like to try taking a picture using a flashlight. Just love all the pictures here.

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      Aibrean82 4 years ago

      Wow, you have some amazing photos here! I have not yet experienced photographer's block, but then I'm not a photographer. I would love to buy a "proper" camera and experiment a little :)

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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @LisaDH: I hear that! That's one of the nice things about my photography group... I'm not great at slogging through uninspired phases, but a specific commitment helps. Thanks for reading and for your kind comment!

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      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      I can't believe you've only started getting into photography a few weeks ago. Your photos are great!

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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @MusicMadness LM: What a terrific Christmas present! Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your still-new camera!

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      LisaDH 4 years ago

      Love this page, particularly the fake tilt-shift and the image of your dog in shades. Awesome angle on that one! I know what you mean about photographer's block. There are certainly days when I can't find anything to photograph, or everything I take seems dull and boring. The only way out of it is as the same as any type of block - just keep going!

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      MusicMadness LM 4 years ago

      Very creative ideas. You've got me thinking about some great ideas for new photos of my own. I got a SLR T3i last Christmas, and I'm still having lots of fun with it.