Where do you find inspiration?

Every year at NAPP’s Photoshop World, there are two sessions that have nothing to do with Photoshop and yet, are some of the most important.  Midnight Madness is just that, fun and games and a donut.  Too whacky to be described, but lots of fun, just the same.  Earlier on that same evening is “The Art of Digital Photography”, where panels of amazing photographers get up and spend 15 minutes showcasing their work and their philosophies.  http://www.photoshopworld.com/digitalphoto.html  They range from the brilliant Joe McNally to the ethereal works of John Paul Caponigro. My personal favorite though is from a character named Joe Glyda, who recently retired as the lead creative guy over at Kraft foods—as he puts it “how many ways can you shoot a box of Velveeta”.  http://www.jglyda.com/#

What makes him stand out for me is how he goes about building his presentation for that evening.  The others bring a years worth of work carefully crafted into Powerpoints—usually captivating, he arrives with nothing but his camera.  He takes on the challenge of going out and shooting all the pictures based on a theme.  In Boston, he found two stuffed rabbits in the hotel gift store and shot them touring all over the city—it was brilliant.  He has done things like circles or a color, just to force himself to look around in a different fashion.

A large part of photography is showing the world what you see when you look through the camera, it is very personal, or it should be.  This holiday weekend, Roger and I went down early, very early to the Old Town Alexandria Farmer’s Market.  On the way there we tossed a couple of themes out and selected “Lines”.  We are each picking 3 of our “best” images and will ask some of the people we work with to pick their favorites.  High stakes betting here, as the “winner” gets lunch and bragging rights.  We will post all 6 candidates here later this week and will solicit your input as well.  Here are a few that didn’t make my top 3, but which I liked.

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So, pick a topic, or a theme and go out and try to shoot things you normally would pass up, create a mini portfolio and try different settings.  Ask others for feedback and see how fun just shooting an assignment can be.

They also had some gorgeous sunflowers at multiple stalls and since they did not really fit, I’ll just post a few for your enjoyment.   

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Oh, and if you are going to PSW in Vegas, don’t miss the show.