Lately I have been thinking a lot where I get my inspiration for photos. I spent quite some time watching art online. There are of course also many great photographers I admire and loosely follow, but for now, I would like to focus on painters.
Two spring to mind immediately. The first one is Claude Monet. I love his work, not only his famous water lilies, which I would love to see again in real life, but also his earlier work. His landscapes often seem to have no obvious focus point, yet they have a mesmerizing quality. Many are ordinary scenes and objects, made special by the way he looked at them and how he portrayed them.As Paul Cézanne’s said is so well: “Monet is only an eye – but my God, what an eye!”. Isn’t street photography just about the same? Last summer in Paris I was able to see some of his works in the Musee D’Orsay and some really brought tears to my eyes.
I also feel that many of his pictures and portraits are taken in the middle of the day. I am not sure about this, but looking at scenes and colors, I think many are taken during the middle of the day. Since I am not always free to to choose when I go out to take photos, this is also a big motivation to go out. As I once heard someone say about fishing: The best time to go fishing, is when you have time to go fishing. Maybe street photography is the same.
My other big inspiration is Edward Hopper. I love his strong colors and contrast and the sense of disconnection in his work. Many of his paintings seem to have some tension in themselves. Peaceful scenes that sometimes take some observation to really get the message.
Sometimes you see a scene and then you know, even before you have the camera out of your bag, that this one of those scenes. Earlier this week we had diner in a small barbecue restaurant in uptown Cebu. I noticed the obvious disconnection between the people ordering the food and those waiting for their pickup. Also the strong colors and shadows added to the scene. I took about 5 photos and this one I like best. Hope I did them justice
Do you also sometimes see scenes that remind you of the work of others? I am curious if you do, please drop me a line