Thursday, February 24, 2011

use photography to stay inspired

I get asked a lot of questions about the pictures that I take and the equipment that I use so I thought I would put together a photography post to answer all those questions. Keep in mind- I am by no means an expert but I do have my own way of taking photos :)

Photography has completely changed my creative routine and has influenced the way that I find inspiration. I don't go anywhere without some kind of camera because I know there will always be something that catches my eye and NEEDS to be captured. I keep thousands of photos on hand to use when I am looking for inspiration with color, shapes, texture, pattern and more!

Again, I am not a professional but over time I have learned all kinds of ways to take photos that work for me. I always try to capture a great shot and challenge myself to look for unique things that I can use in all sorts of creative projects.

My favorite camera is my Cannon Rebel that I've had for years (there is paint all over it)- it is really easy to use and I can do all kinds of fun stuff with exposure and lighting. I also use a Cannon EOS 7-D which is WAY more complicated (and heavy!) than my trusty Rebel but has all kinds of features and when I have time, patience and want really nice photos I will use it.

Over time I have collected a handful of different lenses for a variety of different situations. My favorite is a my Cannon 300mm zoom lens that I often use to capture details like in the photos below



You might be surprised to learn that I actually use my little "point and shoot" digital cameras just as much as my fancy SLR cameras. They are easy to throw into a bag or pocket and to travel with. And while you cannot do as much, you can still capture some really great photos- especially when looking for inspiration or capturing a moment.

taken with Cannon PowerShot SD3500


I also love using my Holga- a Holga is a film toy camera that takes really cool photos. The "cheaper" construction of the camera creates blurring, light leaks and all kinds of cool effects that can't be predicted.



Through the Viewfinder photography or TTV photography is another one of my favorite ways to capture unique photos that look aged. The technique is actually using the viewfinder of a vintage camera and taking photos with your digital camera through the viewfinder. There are a number of different ways to take photos through the viewfinder-here is a simple tutorial

This is what it looks like when looking through the view finder.

and this is how the photo looks once the photo is taken and cropped in photoshop.


Since there are SO many really cool camera applications for phones- often I will only take my iphone with me.

Once of my favorites applications is the Hipstamtic iPhone App- you can take photos with a number of really cool filters.


Another one of my favorites is the CameraBag application- again lots of really cool filters. If you don't have an iPhone you can actually download a desktop version here that can be used on your computer to alter digital photos.



Regardless of the camera that I use, I find that utalizing photography is one of the most profound and important ways that I can stay inspired!


Anonymous said...

Such a fascinating post--I love seeing how other people use their cameras. I take my little point-and-shoot everywhere, but sometimes I just feel too nervous to take pictures in public places. Hopefully I can start catching fireflies, fleeting bits of inspiration, everywhere with confidence though.

whyducks said...

Thank you for sharing that with us, very interesting.

Kathryn Hansen said...

i have a canon rebel too and love it....takes great photos!! wanna check out that tutorial...thanks!

Stacy Kristine said...

What an interesting post! Photography is one of my passions, though I don't get to pursue it as much as I would like. I have seen the TTV stuff around, but never thought much of it. You have peaked my interest and I am excited to get home because I have several vintage cameras at home I found in a garage sale last year. I'm hoping one will work for TTV. Thanks!

la.daridari said...

"Keep in mind- I am by no means an expert but I do have my own way of taking photos :)"

I completely agree with you... really! Taking pictures is my unconscious way to find inspirations

la.daridari said...

"Keep in mind- I am by no means an expert but I do have my own way of taking photos :)"

I completely agree with you... really! Taking pictures is my unconscious way to find inspirations

The Witchery Vintage said...

I have a Canon Rebel XS. I miss being able to zoom in because the 18-55 mm lense is limiting unlike the point and shot with the millionX zoom lenses :) I find the flash on this camera is very ubiquitous and often I have to turn it off. Any suggestions? I use it often for my photographing my vintage clothing. see

Jo Reimer said...

I love photography, too, as a way to gather information which will later inform my art-making decisions. My little Canon Powershot is always with me and I'm slowly learning to use my Rebel. Yesterday I had a random conversation with a professional photographer who talked about always having his little pocket camera to use for "note-taking". And I thought, AHA, that's the best description of what I'm doing, note-taking with my camera, recording what I see to be developed later.
Thanks for the post on cameras.

Aubree said...

Great post! Thanks so much!

Dar Hosta said...

Alisa, I loved this post and I, too, am not a professional but have had a recent love with snapping pics. As a newbie sketcher in your class, I can see how this is invaluable.

I have a question, though.... do you get prints of your pics? Do you print them yourself? I guess I'm tempted to start using a supermarket kiosk or something because, while I've always had a digital printer set up for archival prints, my photo library since purchasing my first digital camera has been all on screen. I only make prints for art or framed photos.

What do you do?

Gina said...

Thank you for this post! I love your photos and the sketchbook class is so inspiring!

Kay said...

you made my day..I have my vintage argoflex and although I can buy film and rewind it on the proper spool with a black bag and then send film away for processing..I just didn't have time to do that right now. you taught me to use my little digital with my argoflex..I can't wait to try it!!!!!

Jeannette said...

I really enjoyed reading this post....I too always have a camera on hand & this post has made me realize that I SHOULD take my xti w/ me sometimes instead of my {newer, heavier} 50D...thanks for the inspiration!!!!

anna maria said...

Thank you for all the great info! I immediately purchased Camerabag for my computer. For the past year or so I too have gotten into the excellent habit of carrying a camera with me at all times, and now that I do I use it every day.

ladydazy said...

I luv this post and your blog. Thank you so much for posting this. I'm going to share it on my blog cuz I luv it so much. :)

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

I've been wanting to play with a Holga and try some TTV. Thanks for posting the TTV link. Always enjoy your photography; the outdoor and studio images. Wish those great lenses had less weight. Miss using an SLR once in awhile. Awfully glad to be around during these years of giant-step camera and software evolution. Fun, fun, fun.

Ragamuffin Gal said...

This is a wonderful post Alisa ~ Thanks for all of the great hints and recommendations ~ Fabulous! ~ Katie

HollyM said...

Thanks for sharing the camera info! I just bought a new little point and shoot but I'm looking and saving for an SLR.

Studio.Korana said...

you are a true inspiration.

Anonymous said...

you are a true inspiraton

jabbott said...


Tami Cohen said...

thank you thank you thank you for the great info!


Related Posts with Thumbnails