The Grid: The Grid: Episode 63 – When Inspiration Fails You


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Episode Summary

Matt and RC are joined by photographer Jeremy Cowart as they talk about what happens when inspiration fails us. Do we focus on technique? Do we look outside of Photography for inspiration? Do we have any inspirational things we look at for help? Click on the episode to watch the discussion unfold.

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  1. Josh says:

    Enjoyed the discussion and was bummed Jeremy’s last comment froze and we couldn’t get him back on.

    I get inspired and jot down ideas from studying. Whether that is reading books, searching through other people’s work or daydreaming. Lots of times driving home I see landscapes that I would love to shoot. Once inspiration hits you have to write it out and make a plan on how to shoot the idea that just hit you.

    Good show, thanks!

  2. The way I try to stay inspired is to plan for the next shoot. I am a hobbyist nature photographer, so my next shoot WILL take me to a location that I have not been before. Or, it may be one I have not been to in many years. Maybe for portrait shooters, going to a different locations to shoot instead of a studio.

    I am already looking forward to July, 2013 for my trip to Seney Wildlife Refuge in Northern Michigan. In the mean time, I look for subjects that can help me take better shots for the “real deal”.

    Good Grid guys,
    Mark L.

  3. phil Burt says:

    This was a very inspiring show. Thanks for all of the good comments that went in to this.

  4. Eli Infante says:

    Can you all post the link to the video Jeremy was talking about?

  5. Tony White says:

    Thanks for another great show guys, some great info. I was hoping you had a link of the 2 people Jeremy mentioned, that he found inspiring. Will have to re-watch it and take note this time.

  6. Fantastic episode: 1) I won’t do 365 project since I use film.2) Instagram: I’m not into lomography, but Instagram is lomography, making photos look crappy.3) Hassy vs Rebel: try renting gear before buying. I’m waiting for Canon’s announcement at Photokina to see what shakes out before I go digital. I’d love 35mm sensor, but APS-C is my budget. 4) Shoot out of comfort zone: I’m doing that right now. For year 2012, I’m using only B&W film and experimenting with B&W contrast filters. HDR photography: I’ve seen some HDR photos that just don’t look real! 5) Drive home photography: I need to have the SLR on the center console ready to take a picture; once, I saw beautiful pastel clouds highlighted by the rising sun. I’ve done drive-by shootings, using a disposable camera and my Canon A-1. 1994, at O’Hare, I got a great photo of the neon art overhead of one of the tunnels from a disposable. 6) Evernote: Yes, Matt, Evernot rocks! I use Evernote to log my photographs by film roll since EXIF didn’t exist in 1970.

    Y’all are commercial photographers; y’all have to do what the client wants. Me? I’m an amateur; I can do what I want. I got the opportunity to see the final Space Shuttle landing, just 200 yards from the runway. Since Atlantis was scheduled to land in the pre-dawn hours, I figured color would be wasted and bought Kodak BW400CN film and exposed at ISO 1600. In hindsight, I should’ve ordered ISO 3200 film, but I would be pushing my luck for delivery on time.

    I rediscovered that Black & White has a classic look about it. I bought a 3 pack of BW400CN 135-24 and when I finished the rolls, I decided that my New Years Resolution for 2012 was to use B&W film exclusively in 2012.

    I have two photo projects for 2012: 1) photograph the sunrise of the equinoxes and solstices over Columbia, SC; 2) photograph the full moons of 2/2012-1/2013. I got the idea for #1 from photographing the first sunrise of 2012 over Columbia from the Lake Murray Dam; #2 came from a Flickr photo of a full moon that I saw from one of my Flickr friends; unfortunately, the idea came after the Full Wolf Moon.

    Thomas Edison: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

  7. miriam Rosenthal says:

    It was Thomas Edison that talked about inspiration and perspiration.

    Needing to be inspired to work or shoot seems very self indulgent.

  8. Graham Taylor says:

    Thanks guys full of good ingformation as usual. For me thought I have come t the simple conclusion. Don’t look for inspiration just look. Its awazing what you can see out of the corner of your eye, but the stop and ask the question why.

  9. Dan says:

    Can definitely relate to the “inspiration loss” topic. Great show as usual

  10. Love the Grid and would love to win.

  11. Patrick says:

    I love my Big Stopper

  12. Hey “profound” show today!

    As a “hobbyist” inspiration is not something you have all the time, but indeed looking at other people’s work inspires, than comes the transpiration part (work hard to get this inspiration on pixels).

    Great show!

  13. Gary says:

    Sorry but i thought this show was all over the place with no focus.. seemed like contradicting opinions (and not in a good way) and that habit of being polite to each others points of view so much so it seemed like RC, JC and Matt were agreeing on bits that they didn’t really have the same opinions on.
    I’m not trying to knock the three of them i like them… but to me the show was not very coherent.

    There is a difference between inspiration and creativity.. you don’t need to be inspired to take a great picture… it may make you feel better about the picture afterwards if you were inspired but inspiration doesn’t always equate to taking a great picture.

    I was really lost on the non conventional inspiration bit and it sounded like Matt was a bit lost too… i love music but it’s never inspired or encouraged me to take a picture nor has any other medium to the best of my knowledge. i would get ideas from seeing others pictures or scenic views but i wouldn’t count that as true inspiration .
    usually i learn something from these shows but this weeks has left me more confused rather than less on the topic.

  14. Phil Beavis says:

    Nice Show guys,
    A lot of useful information and dare I say “Inspiration” from this episode of the Grid.

  15. Chris Sieritis says:

    Great topic and touched home

  16. Robert Norris says:

    Jeremy hit it on the head with the fact that sometimes it’s work if that’s what you do for a living. The other inspirational tip were spot on as well. I take thousands of pictures but only a few of the best get posted or at least hings that I think people might like. Going out and shooting the heck out of everything sometimes can inspire. You find something and then go back to it for more shots. Always have the camera! Thanks.

  17. Bill Araujo says:

    Another great talk! The summary at the end has inspired me. Nice job!

  18. good talk. NO BS ! I did enjoy it . Thanks Guys.

  19. Andy says:

    Interesting topic.

  20. Foto says:

    Great episode!

  21. Kevin Figueira says:

    Thank you for the wonderful topic and your insightful thouhts this week. Keep up the good work. Yes I would like to win those two books.

    thanks again.

  22. james says:

    greats show guys! 😛 love it!

  23. David says:

    Amazing episode–lots of great advice/wisdom! You guys are geniuses!

  24. Roger Correia says:

    Great show guys – inspiration is an illusive feeling and like golf, a good shot keeps you going back to re-create it again…

  25. Jane Hamilton says:

    I find inspiration from reading art magazines. I cut out things that inspire me and keep them in a folder. I bookmark inspiring web sites in evernote. I also listen to art and creativity pod-casts.

  26. Jack says:

    Matt, you absolutely hit the nail on the head with your recap on being inspired by other people’s work. As a hobbyist I try and replicate the work of many photographers I admire, sometime successfully sometimes not, but bottom line is I continue to learn and learning is the overall goal. This is after all why photography is such a passion for so many of us.
    Interesting discussion with this week’s Grid. Thanks again.

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