There are lots of experienced and creative photographers around the Web who eagerly share their experience and ideas with people around.
1. Surf around the Web. Look at images at magazines, papers, on-line galleries and you’ll find a wealth of ideas. Try the Gallery at shotaddict.com. Want more – go to flickr.com and look through tones of creative shots. Another useful source is VFXY, it displays recent posts from various photoblogs.
2. Learn the ‘visual language’. Visit Art Museums, Galleries and Exhibitions that have photography shows. Learn art history from Antiquity to the Present and discover how highly creative people developed methods for expressing light and color.
3. Watch Movies. It is another source of inspiration, as they are nothing more than still images shown to you at 29.97 frames a second. Lots of ideas for concepts, lighting, messages, or just plain pretty images.
4. Read photography books to learn new techniques and then try to apply them in your work.
5. Look at things through the eyes of creativity. Pick anything and shoot it just to see what it looks like: things around your house, in the refridgerator, etc. The subject doesn’t really matter all that much, what matters is how you shoot it. Shoot, shoot and still shoot even more. Digital is cheap.
6. Composition is the key. Think about what you are doing. Frame your photo in your mind. Look for interesting angles and light, go high, go low. The key is to shoot the subject in as many different ways, under different lighting, and try to make those images interesting. So, don’t just point and shoot, but consider composition.
7. The twenty step exercise. If you lack inspiration, you can take your camera, go outside and start shooting anything around. Each photographer has their own secret. Some recommends shooting 100 photos in one hour. Others suggest you should try to get 100 shots from within the 10 metre radius of where you are. Others play twenty steps. Go out for a walk, walk twenty steps, stop, look around, take a picture (try and make it interesting, an unusual angle, a closeup, abstract, etc), walk another twenty steps, repeat. The point is to develop your eye, learn to look more indepth at your surroundings, to look in close as well as wide. This exercise forces you to try and see the mundane differently.
8. Plan a trip to a local botanical garden or a zoo. Make sure to visit such places from time to time, – there are lots of things to shoot there.
9. Shoot in different conditions. E.g. iff you shoot in early morning, late in the afternoon or in sunset, the available light will add more depth, create interesting shadows and color changes for your convenience. Try to photograph places in fog – it will hide distracting background elements.
10. Look through postcards. If you want to shoot the city you live in, or you plan a trip to some excited place, you’ll find it useful to look through postcards. Often we walk past something time and time again and never actually notice its potential. Besides, postcards will give you ideas what is the best way to shoot the subject.
11. Learn how to “see” with your camera – another exercise to develop your eye. If your camera has a viewfinder, look through it for some time. Then look at a scene, and imagine how the camera will see it. Then hold again your camera up to your face and find out if you were right. Keep trying until you can tell immediately what the camera will see.
12. Self-criticism Shoot, shoot and shoot! But after you take tons of images, you should sort them ruthlessly. 10% of worthy photos for a day is not bad results.
13. Enter online contests. It’s great inspiration to find interesting stuff to photograph. You have a topic, and it can make it easier to find interesting stuff to shoot. Try Contests at shotaddict.com.
14. Join a photo community and interest groups. It is cheap, informative, and fun. You can post your photos, participate in critique and discussions at forums. Some very good and interesting stuff to be found there!
15. Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way. Remember that a camera that you don’t have with you is a camera that’s not going to take any pictures. So try to have your camera on you as often as possible.