Lesson 2 Inspiration

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    I was somewhat apprehensive toward researching this topic because I haven’t ever given any thought to why I take pictures and what kind of pictures I like to take. It really made me wonder what my inspiration is and I discovered during my investigation into photography that I am fascinated with the moment. I know that seems vague and I guess it could be for someone who takes a camera and points it at an object and pushes the button to capture that moment in time but for what purpose? Anyone can take a picture. Camera’s are so prevalent now and so many people own one and use one so what separates me from those who “point and shoot”? What inspires me to spend hours trying to get the perfect shot where others are happy with the first take?

    I have been surfing the internet and I have found a photographer that excites me as an artist. Richard Avedon is an artist that captivates me with his work. After reading his biography it was clear to me that his talent lied within him. He saw something in his subjects that few others could see and he was able to project that into the lens with very little training. It seemed to come from somewhere inside of him. I have done several weddings in the past and I have always been fascinated by the positive response I have received from the bride, groom and families involved. I don’t have any formal classes and I haven’t done anything to separate me from anyone else but I feel that I “see things” and when I look into a lens it becomes more vivid, more captivating…alive somehow. I felt this same connection with the photographs taken by Richard Avedon. There is very little preparation before he took the picture and he used black and white film which absolutely awes me with the lines and definition and dimension. I have seen pictures that he has taken in color and I am not nearly as mesmerized by them. There is something unique and fascinating about the depth of the picture. I like the fact that the subjects are “naked” in their emotions and that mood is felt in the picture. Those are my favorite shots.

    I hope to become more technical in my imagery so that I can capture a million moments like Richard Avedon has done and satisfy the urge in my gut to tell the stories that are waiting to be told without a word being said. I feel much closer to my vision now and I am grateful for the opportunity to explore photographers and I am humbled to have found Richard Avedon.


    Duncan Rawlinson

    It’s hard to believe how many incredible photographers there are or have been.

    Richard Avedon’s work is positively stunning.

    Take a look at this slideshow:

    This is probably one of my favorite images of his:


    Now, what’s important here is that you have isolated some things that interest you in photography.

    This is huge.

    It took me years to realize that I like landscape photographs and macro photographs. You’ve already realized that you like stylized black and white fashion photographs. Or something to that effect and that’s great!

    Now it’s critical not to let that limit you creatively or narrow your focus too far. Just know that this type of thing inspires you. Don’t let it take over your creative energy. You have to figure out your own thing and develop your own style.

    Regarding “moments” did you watch this Henri Cartier Bresson video I sent out recently:


    If not you must watch it.

    In terms of the technical side of photography, it’s like anything else. It requires practice. It requires patience and it requires you to fail over and over…

    You’ll get there.

    Nice work here Tammy!


    Thank you for the feedback. I was torn between Richard Avedon and Galen Rowell and I am still not sure that Mr. Rowell isn’t just as inspiring to me. I guess it’s what the moment calls for. My husband and I do a lot of flat water kayaking and I never go without my camera. I have taken some wonderful pictures just like I have taken wonderful pictures at weddings but I feel like there are moments that I miss or could capture better if I understood my camera more. I am very much looking forward to sharpening my skill and then the sky is the limit.

    Thank you for the posts on pictures and artists. I enjoyed them very much and I look forward to learning more. I have been wanting to take a course like this for a very long time…20 years…and now that I have made the decision to do it I wonder why I took so long. This is a photo I took at a recent wedding…I am really looking for advice on whether or not I have an eye for photography or is it just wishful thinking. It’s probably not the time in the lessons to ask but I have never had a professional look at any of my work…what do you think? Is this a career worth pursuing for me? [attachment=0:2yr473k2]254592_1992564006908_1027624640_2420111_4647162_n.jpg[/attachment:2yr473k2]

    Duncan Rawlinson

    The whole “eye” thing is somewhat of a misnomer. It’s almost insulting to professional photographers who have spent a lifetime working to improve their craft to talk about this notion that implies some people just have it and others dont… It’s like anything, it takes massive amounts of hard work and passion, and that’s just to start. Now shoot like a gazillion photographs and you’ll start to get some good ones…

    Don’t get me wrong some people can “see” better than other people but that does not mean they will be great photographers.

    In terms of a career, it’s tough to make money as a photographer these days but it’s really up to you. If you are willing to work hard and you are passionate about it. And you have lots of time it’s always worth a shot.

    Also, don’t listen to me, or anyone for that matter. If you want to do something, do it!!!



    I would like to retract my post questioning my skills as a photographer. I feel that my question may have tainted your opinion of me as a student and I feel very bad about that. I will take your advise and do what I want! Art is important and this is my way of creating and I don’t care who likes it…I do! 😀 Thank you for your time.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    It’s totally normal to question your skills.

    All artists are inherently insecure! Myself included! 😯

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