Every few months, some friends and I go out on a Photo Walk. We simply choose a random place to visit together and then take photos. What makes it the most fun is sharing our photos at the end. Everyone comes with different perspectives, unique experiences, and distinct styles. All these things add up to a very cool mix of photos. Something one of us missed, the other might catch. One of us may shoot something up close, the other far away. One may use a macro lens, the other a telephoto.
This particular Photo Walk, we ended up in Larkspur, California, with a pretty view of a stream and Mt. Tamalpias before us. The problem was we arrived in the middle of the day, the sun was blaring, and I was totally uninspired. I took one shot of the mountain and then pretty much put my camera away, resolving that there was nothing really interesting to take that day and that it would be a waste to take photos I’d delete anyways. Instead, I decided I would just enjoy the weather and the company of my friends.
But I had just come off of recently watching a creativeLIVE class, taught by fine-art photographer Brooke Shaden, who said some things that really stuck with me — “Learn to see old things in new ways. Everything in the world is inspiring. It is up to you to see it that way. Inspiration is like a garden; if you nurture it, it will grow. If you neglect it, it will be harder than ever to revive.”
While we were walking around, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a giant dandelion blowing in the wind under some trees. I suddenly found my inspiration. Giant dandelions, many half blown away, but still beautiful and intriguing in their own right. My friends took a few shots and moved on, but I got lost in that world of long, dried grasses and withered dandelions.
I just love how changing what you focus on and the perspective you choose completely changes your outlook… kind of like life.
Truly, inspiration is all around us. We just have to look for it.