Focusing on inspiration

I’m a member of the Digital Divas, a meetup group in the Tampa (FL) area. This group of female photographers range from beginners to near professionals and, in terms of gear, use everything from simple point-and-shoot cameras to high-end DSLRs. Group activities include photo-centric field trips and learning activities at locations throughout the greater Tampa area, and group-hosted workshops and competitions on various topics. Members are encouraged to share their photos and comments on the site.

The photos shown below are two of my favorites from a recent Divas outing to an area botanical garden and nearby heritage village. I’m evaluating these photos and my reaction to them as part of the coursework for Kat Sloma’s current Find Your Eye class. Specifically, I’m trying to determine which activities of the photographic workflow are most inspiring to me at this stage of my photographic journey.

I was pleased with this first image because, for once, I managed a reasonable balance between sharpness and shallow depth of field. Of course, what appealed to me in the first place is the shape and contrasting soft greens and bright reds of the buds. Emotionally, these buds appeal to me because of their unrealized potential.

This next one appeals to me because its subject, words on glass, is one I would normally not even consider. Further, given a choice between taking this shot from the front side or the back (as shown here), I can almost guarantee I would choose the former. On this hot day, however, the air conditioning was on the inside (and so was I), so I took the photo from the back. I enjoy this image because the viewer has to stop for a moment to decipher what the sign says. I also like the high contrast black lettering and strong lines of the graphic. Finally, the black screen door outside the window adds an unintentional texture to the photo. For me, altogether a very satisfying image!

(BTW, I used Adobe Lightroom to change the camera profile and to crop each image.)

I’m still struggling with some (most!) of the creative aspects of photography, so I’m always thrilled when I review my images and find one or two that make my heart skip a beat. For me, for now, this is the most important and inspiring part of the photographic workflow. A few good images are sufficient motivation to get me out there to try again! Editing images is also appealing to me. I’m still new with shooting RAW images so I’m always amazed when I see what a few little editing tweaks can accomplish.

Going on group shoots with the Digital Divas has been extremely helpful to me. I end up going places I probably would not go to on my own but, more important, I’m learning a lot from the other Divas about looking for and then exploring subjects. Simply reviewing the collected images from a Divas outing is useful in order to see what I might have missed and what angles, lighting, etc., others used to get their shots.

Beyond that, I do a bit of a happy dance when I feel like some of my images are good enough and interesting enough to share with others, and I naturally enjoy feedback from others who see my photos. It made my day when the Divas got together for brunch last weekend and one of the members called out my window shot as one she especially enjoyed.

11 thoughts on “Focusing on inspiration

  1. Even though I’m an introvert and do most of my photography alone, your Divas group sounds like a lot of fun. I would enjoy that, I think.

    These images, though very different, are both wonderful!

  2. Your Diva group sounds wonderful. I wish I could find something similar in the area. Reminds me of a book group with a photography bend.
    Love, love, love that screen door from the a/c inside. Fantastic shot. Isn’t it great to find new inspiration?

  3. I enjoyed reading your post and like the photos here, too. Being able to participate in a group that likes photography is really helpful, isn’t it? I enjoy the online class that Kat provides. But recently I joined a local photography club and this is very helpful in other ways. Love the name of your group, by the way!

  4. I am a bit of a loner and photography has always been a sort of meditation for me- something I do in the quiet of my own head.

    But I am certainly struck by your joy in participating in a group like this and a little jealous that you are able to share your artistic life with other women. How lucky you are!

    Both shots are wonderful. The window shot is so very unique and clever with beautiful texture. The buds are simply stunning.

  5. I love the image of you doing a happy dance Wanda! Such a feeling of joy you expressed. That is what we are going for, as long as you are excited and positive about what you are doing, you will continue to love it. I’m glad you are feeling better, and back in action. The Digital Divas sound like a wonderful group! I am going to have to look into that near me. Thanks for the link!

  6. Hi Wanda, another flu victim here, I forgot how bad you can feel having it. You are lucky to have such a creative photography group, for me that would also be very inspiring to go out regularly to different locations to shoot. I go sometimes with my brother in law and I really enjoy those outings. You took some lovely images, I especially like the second one. The combination of text and nature make it interesting. I also like the texture the flyscreen? gives.

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