I love watching other photographers shoot. I'm not necessarily concerned with the resulting photos, I just love seeing the angles they choose, how they work with the lighting, the compositions they try... It's interesting and it always gives me new ideas of things to try.
Tonight I spent some time with some fellow photographers and got a little bit scolded by one of them about how following other people's ideas instead of creating my own would keep me from developing as a photographer and I shouldn't do it. And it kindof made me question myself a bit -
I think that relying on other people's ideas is bad, but getting inspiration from work you like is fine. How many great artists weren't in some way inspired by other great artists? But I don't know... maybe I'm using that as an excuse to not have to experiment myself? I do feel like I still stretch myself, just in different ways lately. I've pushed myself to learn new postprocessing techniques and some new technical stuff, but my composition skills have greatly lagged behind and I do feel like I'm having trouble in that area.
And watching other people take their shots puts ideas in my head about ways to use similar techniques in different situations or with different subjects. So what does that mean? Am I just ripping off other people's work, or is this an acceptable way to learn and grow as a photographer.
On the note of trying different things, it's been quite a while since I've done a full photo session that didn't center around creating HDR images. I've been wanting to do some Chrismastime street shots, and when I saw a meetup at the Bellevue Square Snowflake Lane, it seemed right up my alley. I had quite a fun time, and came out with a number of shots I was really happy with...
And lastly... who is this guy and why does he look familiar to me??