It doesn't matter where you find your inspiration, but the easiest place to start looking is at other photographers' work. On the other hand inspiration could come from any sources you might think of. Try to always keep your 'photographers' eyes' open and you'll find yourself inspired all the time.
Iconic photographs are great but it doesn't mean you should simply copy everything you like from one image, but rather select the individual elements you like from several images, or other sources. For instance, you might love the lighting in one photo, a model's pose in another, and you may have seen a great location while out on a walk. That’s inspiration - and it will be a unique photograph, not a mere copy of another.
To make use of this, you need to understand which elements work photographically, like light, shapes, colors and composition. Being able to understand and identify which of these core elements work is a skill that can be learned and than transferred to your own work.
Asking yourself a series of questions is a good way to begin analyzing a photography or any other kind of visual work. Once it becomes second nature you'll find you ask all the questions subconsciously. The questions could involve the following:
- What is the genre/style of the image?
- When and where was it taken?
- How does it engage me/how am I drawn in?
- How do I feel about the image, and how do I relate to it?
- What technical elements of the shot appeal to me?
- What compositional tools have been used?
- Is the lighting natural or artificial?
Some other question could concern the technical side like:
Specific techniques that have been used, color, contrast and brightness, is the lighting complementing the subject, is the image sharp, etc.
Or from an aesthetical point o view:
What genre/style, how have focus and depth-of-field influenced the look, is the image black & white or color, etc.
The question of composition is not to be forgotten as well as the social effect.
How does the image engage me (how am I drawn in)? What emotions does it evoke? (Happy, sad, angry, sympathetic etc).
After you have been inspired by different point of views of different art and have taken “your” picture you should ask yourself: Did my shot work?
To answer this question you need to be able to analyze your images and critique them honestly. The questions you need to be asking yourself are fairly similar to those you asked when analyzing your inspiration. All the same rules and ideas apply throughout the process.
The main difference now is that you're applying them to your work. It's easier said than done to detach yourself from your own photos, but it's essential for your development to learn to view your work with a critical distance.
If you can work out why a set of shots didn't work, you'll know how to improve next time. You can even begin to plan a re-shoot.
That’s the point – so go out and create some new inspiring images!
Or comment on my images where I intended to give the audience the feeling of joy, exitment and last but not least - fun! Did I realy reach my goal? Did I fall short of reaching? Like to hear your opinion, go ahead and give it to me.