Photo ops are everywhere, you just have to find them

Sunday, January 5, 2003

I have been on many photo workshops where novice photographers often feel that there aren't any photo opportunities. This week's column is for them, and maybe for you. Photo opportunities are everywhere. You just have to use your imagination.

Where and how do we get ideas? Some of my photographer friends have some thoughts on the subject.

Jill Enfield -- "I think most of my ideas come from walking around with my camera and seeing, through my camera's viewfinder, what is around me. It's that simple.

Joe Farace -- "The best ideas often come when your mind is relaxed. Your subconscious is working when you're sitting in a comfortable chair just taking a break -- something I do several times a day. Walking is another great idea generator. Every afternoon, I take a three-mile walk with nary a thought in my head, but 'walking ideas,' as my wife calls them, often pop into my head and I can't wait to get back and write them down. The shower is another one of my idea factories. Putting your brain into neutral, whether walking or washing seems to allow those ideas lurking in the back of your mind to come to the forefront."

George Schaub -- "Picture ideas come from many sources, mostly experience, reference to other images I have seen, and knowing what has worked for me in the past. Mainly, however, ideas come from light and how it enhances a subject. So it is first in the seeing, and then being able to translate that seeing into an image using photographic technique. The framing of a subject comes from a personal sense of composition and how parts of the scene balance others. An idea is an inspiration met by chance."

The photo ops are there. It's up to you to recognize them.

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