Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tired of Your Photos? Got Photo Boredom? Try This!

Photo taken in the window of a shop.

A Case of Photo Boredom
I received an email last week from a great friend who is a fellow scrap artist.  I adore her work, admire  her creativity and refer to her art for inspiration yet she mentioned that she had a case of photo boredom.  I thought to myself, "You too? You suffer from that? But you are soooooo great. "

So tell me if this sounds familiar?  You finally carve out some YOU time and want to scrap.  You clear your scrap table ready to get started.  You sort through your stack of photos or scan the photos on your computer and nothing "grabs" your attention.  For the moment you are simply uninspired by your photo collection.  

You have no fresh photos of your children, grandchildren, friends, family and pets.  Your heritage photos are not helping to provide that spark of inspiration either.  Blah, what to scrap!  I hate when I come away from my scrapping table feeling bored before I even start.   

Go take some photos and play with sunlight. Let the light inspire you. 
Go take some photos of just "stuff", things,  little nooks in your house that get great sunlight.  See how the sunlight hits the furniture in your room and take a photo.  Got a favorite hat or shoes?  Place the item on a table and let the morning sun dance on it.  Snap!  Take a photo and play a little.  Who says you always need to scrap people?  Some of my favorite pieces have been from things and places I have photographed - no people at all.

This is my favorite hat that I set on my dining room table letting the morning sun illuminate it to show the great golden colors of the hat and rich browns of the hat band. 

This is Escape Kitty and her cat brother, StayBehindCat's favorite view of the word when they are stuck inside the house. It is also one of my favorite places in the house when the morning sun streams in. 

Play with sunlight!  Look at how the sun is shinning into your house in morning and evening hours.  Pay attention to it and observe. These two times of the day will have the best dramatic effect. This is the morning sun hitting some wine glasses left out from the the night before ( a girls scrappy weekend get-away).

Peer out your window and see how sunlight hits your yard or the neighbors yard.  Don't be bashful - ask if you can take a photo of your neighbors flower garden or tree.  I suggest asking.  Don't be like me and pop over in your jammies holding a coffee at 6am.  You may catch them off guard and find yourself explaining your slippered feet and bathrobe to the police.  My neighbors are now used to the unexpected me.  I am now expected - a frightful sight, yet expected. 

This was taken from my front garden at 7am as the sun was rising.  The daffodils almost look like parchment paper all aglow. 

I asked the neighbor if I could photograph his wonderful Tiger Lily since mine were dying off and the evening sunlight was "kissing" his flowers so much prettier than mine.  He has no grass under his flower bed, yet it makes for a nice contrast in the photo.

A shot from my garden at sunrise (before my lily's wilted and passed on).  This is about 6am and the sun is totally backlighting the lily's petals.
This is actually from my yard on a really hazy sunrise.  

 Don't have a yard?  No problem.  Take your camera out on the town - to the town park, main street, downtown or to the lake.  I even take mine to the local antique shop and see what's in their window that I can "borrow".   I really do!  This is what I have found: 

This was taken from the window of an antique store.   Those bottles look stunning and the rich honey, amber, mahogany, and magentas are reduced to dull brown without the sun to make them pop.  Wish I could show you an example of this, but I would not have noticed the photo opportunity if it had been  dark out. 
This was taken after a gentle snow at my town park.  Winter, everything appears dead and dormant but for me, it is an opportunity for some peaceful beauty.  There is not a lot to this photo, but it actually says a lot to me.  Simple can be great.  

This is a photo from my local park taken at sunset on a super hot, hazy day. 

Don't be discouraged by some bad weather, snow, or rain clouds. 
Storm clouds make for the MOST dramatic skies. I actually adore taking photos before and after a storm, rain or snow. 
This was a photo taken at our local beach after a very bad storm.  It was so bad I was not even sure I was going to go shoot photos.  I persevered and captured such a dramatic sky.  I do not know who these fiends were but they gave me a cute shot, so THANKS unknown friends. 

More photos after a storm.

My husband loves John Deers tractors.  I saw this as I was driving home from work and had to pullover.  The clouds were so moody after a long day of rain, the grass burnt out so nicely from the summer heat in certain areas. I have yet to scrap this, but I wait...

This is a photo of my shed in the back yard.  Not particularly a great subject for a photo but the trees and the ground look really pretty after a dusting snowfall.  

Take your camera to some everyday common places and focus only on light.  

This is a photo I took last week at my church after the altar candles had been blown out.  I really wanted the candles to be burning but I was too slow.  By the time I asked permission, made it to the altar with my camera and was ready, the candles had been extinguished.  I didn't let it stop me.  The smoke rising from them is cool enough. 

This is photo of StayBehindCat just lounging in the sunlight.  This one is all about the light hitting him.
This was taken outside of a tree farm and restaurant.  Rusty 'ol water pump, but the sunlight makes that rust look spectacular. 

This is a photo of my husbands favorite beer  as we have lunch on a pier.  Nothing special, yet the sunlight hits the glass so perfectly.  Ahhhhhhhhh cheers darling.

This is a photo of the porch at the Hospital where my father-in-law lives at about 10am.  The sunlight is casting a warm, inviting haziness.  The lighting in the picture has transformed this into a grand old southern estate in the middle of July.  Never mind it's a Veteran's Hospital in Vermont in September.

I have no idea whose fence this is but it was a photo taken on a scrapping trip to visit a friend.  The fence was interesting to me so snap snap snap.  Not really a captivating photo but with the right papers and style, it will be fun for me to use and will provide inspiration. 

Same scrappy trip as above and the sky was starting to brew a storm when this little gnome hollered to me.  He is sassy and fun.

I have yet to scrap this, but when I get a paper collection that "talks" to me and tells me to grab this photo, I'll be ready.  Someone from work had a bouquet of flowers on their desk.  I asked if I could borrow them, took them outside and set the vase in the grass.  Then I let the sun touch them just so.  Snap snap and done. 
A creepy 'ol gravesite?  Nope.  Look at how the sun hits the middle of the stone and illuminates the rust and colors on the stone.  Luscious scrappy material waiting for the perfect paper line - whatever that may be.

Another shot from that creepy cemetery?  OK - I'll give ya that it may be a little moody BUT look at how the sun is streaming through the fencing? 

This photo was taken in a historic section of my city at about 9pm.  It's different and it's not people.  Plus it feels a little European to me. 

Photo Editing Time - Turn your photos into sepia and B&W. 
Try turning your photos into black and white or sepia photos.  This can totally change the feel of the photo and give you scrapping options that may better accommodate the patterned papers you want to use.

If you do not have any photo editing software, may I suggest Photobucket or Shutterfly?

You do not need fancy photoshop programs to do these editing features.  Both Photobucket and Shutterfly have wonderful and robust editing options these days.  I use them both at times if I need a tweak to a photo and do not have my photoshop program available.

The most current upgrades to Photobucket leave me scratching my head asking me why I even bothered to BUY photoshop.  It has almost all the editing features I would use in photoshop, but extraordinarily user friendly.  Free is the way to be!

These days you can remove blemishes, crop, remove objects (referring to my barn photos below: the tree limbs on the left in sepia photo were cropped out of the colored photo).

Start easy and get the most dramatic changes.

The barn photo was taken at 8am on my drive to work and the beach photos were taken at 8pm after a really strong storm.

I  find that more and more, I am scrapping things.  Photos can evoke emotions.  You can have graceful photos,  moody, feminine and provocative based on the sunlight and time of day.

Go play, take some photos, broaden your scrappy horizon and take note of the sunshine.  Remember what your goal is.  It is scrapping inspiration and to break your photo boredom.  You do not have to be a great photographer, because I am not.   You simply have to find things that may look interesting for but a fleeting moment as the sun dances on it.  

Thanks for looking. 


  1. Wow! What beautiful photos!!!!I can't wait to see how you scrap them!My favorite photos to scrap are landscapes. You've definitely inspired me to take more pics. Thanks!

  2. your photgraphy is wonderful. I love to photograph but even with the great camera I have I can't seem to get it right. I find now I take better photos using my iphone and using applications such as Leme Leme and instagram etc..
    looks like you live ina wonderful place to take photos, love the snow photos don't get that here in the Queensland tropics (Australia)

  3. Those photos are awesome Jen! Thank you for the inspiration!

  4. So inspirational!! Love what you have acheived and have been thinking about photobucket and trying to do a bit more with my pics as I see a lot of scrappers do. Thanks so much. Kx

  5. Do You believe I'm read that in this moment??? Huge piece of time since you published that!! Sorry...

    I'm happy that I got to know your view on some things :)
    Thanks for sharing, Jen!!!