Some days, it just sucks to be out with a camera.
Content is unexciting. It seems like thereâ€™s nothing to shoot.
When days like this happen, it causes you despair. Here you are, with a fully charged camera battery. Your memory card is poised and ready for harmonies to happen in front of your lens.
Or is there really nothing?
On days when youâ€™re absolutely clueless what to shoot, go outside and find some of these situations that could very well be what you need to get those creative brainstorms.
1. Look for lines.
Because humans like order, we build things that have linear features. We also attribute linear features to things that arenâ€™t really lines, like the stream of clouds that seem to form when we tilt a wide angle lens. People form lines; there are ropes and wires and structures that form lines. You never know where lines may lead you: they might lead to inspiration.
2. Go to a show.
Some dinner shows, like this dance show in a restaurant in Bangkok, have performances where they allow tourists to use their cameras. Enjoy a nice dinner out, and when the show begins, try to capture beautiful parts of the performances. The artistic expression on the performers may just nudge your creative spirit into making some great imagery.
3. Look for emotion on faces.
People are constantly interacting, even just outside your street. Go to a crowded place, have your camera ready, and snap away at a respectful distance when people begin to show emotion on their faces. You never know the portraits you might make when people show emotion.
Â 4. Look for shapes.
Geometry is a great subject because itâ€™s everywhere. Especially when the light is coming from one side of a scene, shapes can become beautiful.
5. Shoot a simple theme.
Sometimes, all it takes to focus your creative energy is a simple theme, like â€œsticks.â€ It will amaze you how much you can find on one theme, just by focusing on it. You will also discover that a simple theme can be expressed in so many different ways, and this discovery just might inspire you.
6. Look for texture.
Texture is everywhereâ€”on a manâ€™s face, on someoneâ€™s hands. Texture is found in almost every surface on earth. Finding textures and ways to show them can inspire the most mundane day.
7. Look for action.
Like emotion, people are constantly in action. Practice your camera shutter priority settings, and capture action. You donâ€™t have to go to a sport stadium to find action, either. You can find children playing, people rushing from one place to another, just outside your neighborhood.
8. Find reflections.
Reflections are great to photograph. You might find inspiration in beauty reflected on a surface, and make some imagery that has story and impact.
Â 9. Shoot numbers.
Like themes, numbers can guide your shoot, and become a focal point toward inspiration. Take the number 3. For some reason, our brains love things that come in threes. You could practice your composition and photographerâ€™s eye by spotting this number in your subjects.
10. Play with the cameraâ€™s timer.
Setting your camera down at a cafÃ© or restaurant table, and then using its timer to capture images on slow shutter can yield some interesting results. You might wait for an interesting moment to move into the front of your lens before you press the shutter.
Once in a while, you might feel some despair that you donâ€™t know what else to shoot. Maybe you can try some of these tips, and start getting back into seeing images. As someone once said, itâ€™s not really whatâ€™s in the image that is important. Itâ€™s how you make the image out of mundane things.
What do you shoot to get your vision back?