Friday, February 17, 2012


The title for this week's lesson in the online photography course I'm taking was "Recognizing your inspiration." 

Finding your Eye Course,

The assignment involved more  introspection than field practice in that I had to identify particular activities from a given list, and note which ones generated energy and a sense of accomplishment. 


  1. Intention to photograph
  2. Seeing a subject
  3. Exploring/studying a subject with camera
  4. Review of your images
  5. Getting an end result-on the wall, web, etc... 
  6. Understanding your images
  7. Sharing with others
  8. Receiving feedback
I know that the Intention to photograph is the most exciting for me. I schedule a day where I'm going somewhere, just to take pictures. A few weeks ago, I went out to the beach. I was psyched up to go, even though I would travel 50 miles  one way and had no one to go with me. I had a great time, wandering all around and snapping and composing photographs with no thought to time.  However, it was cut short due to repeatedly feeling faint. (Inadequate breakfast = low blood sugar) I photographed the ocean scenes, but did not get over to the quaint village shops. That will be for another trip.

Last week, I went to a local garden/museum and again, psyched up to go alone, even with the threat of rain. I meandered the trails, enjoying the serenity and the beauty that radiated down when the sun peaked out from the heavy clouds. Again, there was no time limit. (The rain did hit, but I had already finished taking outdoor pictures and I was in the museum, where photography was not permitted)

I have another trip planned in the near future, going to meet up with someone I met online at another photography page on Facebook. She lives further south here in Southern California, but we will meet halfway, and visit a Spanish mission that is part of California's history. That will be a really fun day! 

Having a purpose for photographing a subject is also inspiring in that I know exactly what I am taking pictures of. This course, along with the Basics Course, provides reasons to capture certain subjects or formats, and it has been an exciting learning experience.

It's the anticipation of photographing beautiful things that I seem to enjoy the most! Seeing a potential subject is also very stimulating. So often, I notice great photo ops while driving. Rarely do I stop, but when I do, I am rewarded!  I sometimes share the photo on Facebook or other sites and I like the feedback I receive. 

I like looking at the outcome of the photos, but not so fond of the editing process. It feels like I'm cheating if I have to tweak the hues or contrast.  I'm not a perfectionist- I just want to learn to get it right the first time!

I'm not sure yet if I can recognize my inspiration, other than the obvious- that I like to photograph things in nature. I have such a sense of peace and tranquility when lost in the zone of photographing nature. For me, it is a great escape from my  very stressful job. Is that good enough of an answer?  


  1. I love the peaceful bench with the rocks and water and the overhanging branches. What a lovely place just to sit.
    I've realized that I can't scroll back from here and comment on your text as I can't remember it by heart, but I read it all through and found your photographic escapades great fun, even if you had to drive a while to get where you wanted to go.
    You'll be thinking of taking energy bars with you next time to avoid feeling faint on an outing!

  2. LOVE that picture - and which mission, Barb? Inquiring Southern California natives who now live in Michigan want to know. :)

    Great lesson, I think - and I enjoyed writing your thoughts (and I absolutely agree about the energy bar, girl! Keep some in your glove box.

  3. Your answer, whatever it is, is good enough! You are strong in knowing where your inspiration is, and that comes through in your words. Your excitement for photography is infectious! Enjoy your meetup with your photography friend. It sounds like a wonderful day to look forward to!

  4. Your excitement for photography comes out loud and clear in this post :) Isn't it a joy to have that excitement in our lives?! Lucky you to have a photo friend to connect with for an outing! You two will have so much to share.
    P.S. Please don't feel that editing or enhancing your images is "cheating". Just remember everything that the darkroom giants did with their work, for example Ansel Adams.

  5. Thank you Sandra. That's a great idea about energy bar.Terrible to waste the precious time not feeling well.

    Joanne,it will be the mission in Capistrano. My friend lives in San Diego, and I'm near San Bernardino. We were supposed to have gone last weekend, but she was sick and so postponed. :( Hopefully we get to go before the "M" meme comes due! :)

    Thanks, Kat!

  6. That photograph of the bench is totally inspiring. I enjoyed reading your thoughts Barb.

  7. Something about the whole picture with elements of rocks, trees, water and wood that is so soothing. Peeking through the pine tree is really special. I too enjoy the intent to photograph. Your upcoming Mission shoot sounds so exciting, and I imagine you will find so many beautiful captures, as well as enjoying the time with a friend. Editing felt like cheating to me at first also, and I avoided it. I like the challenge to get the best SOOC shot possible. BUT, that "straighten" tool is so nice! :) Enjoy your next outing and we'll await to see your next journal.

  8. p.s. Sandra I resolved the issue of not seeing the post while writing comments by opening two tabs, one for the comments and one for the blog post. :)

  9. hi barbara, i really enjoyed reading about your intention to photograph, i imagine it would be a great day going on a photo adventure with you, i'm sure you & your friend will have a great time! beautiful photograph, very relaxing feeling :)


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