Who and what inspires you to take photos or capture a moment? Today we are flooded with images on TV, the web, in print, or as we travel at 65mph on the highway. If you are like me, you see a lot, but have little time to reflect on it. Yesterday a nice gent asked me where I get my passion for shooting. All those thousands of images I see each day came flooding back and I had to think hard to come up with an answer.
Growing up my first visual artist I connected with was Norman Rockwell. Whatever he made and I saw resonated with me. It was what I visualized life is like, and should be in America. I am very proud to say my wife got me a special Boy Scout collection of his work, and I've read it back and forth a few times now. Whenever I do photojournalism stories I try to see the Rockwell moment and capture it in frame. Check out some of his work here: http://www.rockwellsite.com
When I get my camera going I am always most attracted to people who use light and paint with it. I love artists who make such a dynamic contrast between darkness and beautiful light. It is really hard for me to think back and say who inspired me first or lately...at the risk of offending someone. I get inspired all the time! However I will give you three names of people who I do like for light painting, and who I heard about as I started getting serious about learning this craft. David Ziser (who shows some of his work at (http://www.digitalprotalk.blogspot.com), Jerry Ghionis who is available at http://www.jerryghionisphotography.com, and Joe McNally who you can find at http://portfolio.joemcnally.com. Each one creates something special. You cannot go wrong by studying any of them.
One more lesson on inspiration I picked up was when I read the book Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer. (You can get a copy here Going Pro @ Amazon) Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen wrote and provided great ideas on building a photography business. Just as important though are the inspirational photographs throughout the book. It is one stop shopping for inspiration.
One important sidebar comment. I kept hearing Scott Bourne was a great photographer, but I could not find anything of his "good stuff" on the web since he usually worked special commission jobs. Then I saw this book and his photos. I was floored with his images powerful composition and art. Thankfully he now is devoting a little more time to showing off his work at Scott Bourne.com. After creating three of my best images ever last week I may understand his position a bit better. I cannot share those great images because they were for work and limited distribution. Maybe he felt the same way for a long time, I don't know.
The final place I want to point you to is www.pentaxphotogallery.com. This is a great site where enthusiasts like myself share photos, vote on the best ones and get them posted by Pentax. Ordinary people, professionals and artists all post and share. Some incredible images...and if they can do it I can learn how too! Long post but some great places to go and absorb the art of photography! -ehw