STUCK AT HOME? Series 3: Sources of Inspiration for photos!

We are all stuck at home, and even now things seem to be loosening up a little bit. But, should they? We still should realize that the majority of time we should still stay at home and try to not be surrounded by people. Some necessary stores are starting to open a little bit, but that means we can get our hair cut now. We won’t be looking like Big Foot anymore !

But, if you are like me, you get out, maybe even with the family and take a walk, you go for a drive, you are not stuck at home, you just can’t be around people. Right!

So, here are some great ideas of some inspirational places you can go to get some good photographs, while we still have to stay away from people:


1. Take a drive.

We were driving through the prairie recently, on the way back from a family visit, when all of a sudden it came to me as I watched the fields and farms go by outside the car window. I had an overwhelming urge to stop the vehicle and take some photos. I wanted to to go back, sit beside the road, and paint those farm scenes.

photo inspiration
Photo by Ian Sane; ISO 320, f/5.6, 1/800-second exposure.

2. Play with the features of your camera.

I recently purchased a Nikon D7000. It has a few features that I was not used to, and I am enjoying trying new things while learning the new camera.

3. Look at old vacation photos.

Viewing photos taken on past vacations always brings back memories that make me want to paint a new painting or visit that place again. They also make me see how an even better photograph could be made by visiting the same place or even one similar to it.

photography inspiration
Photo by Patrick; ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/400-second exposure.

4. Visit a park.

There are boundless, intriguing subjects in parks. Photographing and painting people playing, flowers in bloom, trees, water, birds, and other wildlife can be very interesting and exciting.

Photo by Julie Falk

5. Look around your house.

There are many things we look at every day but no longer really see. The textures of fabrics, wood, walls, grasses, weeds, and even items of glassware, and dishes can be interesting subjects. After you explore the inside of your house, go outside around your neighborhood. Look at the rocks, walls of buildings, the bark of trees; they all have interesting textures and colors.

6. Take stock of your kitchen.

The kitchen can be inspirational, as well. Setting up still-life sets with fruits and vegetables from your refrigerator will make for some very nice photos and paintings. Cups, glasses, and dishes can make wonderful still-life subjects. You can add a bottle of wine and a houseplant and make it even better. It is also fun to take your camera to the local farmer’s market and photograph the bins of fruits and vegetables with different light and angles. Sometimes there are even old rusted farm implements and equipment to photograph.

Photo by Jennifer Chait; ISO 80, f/2.8, 1/40-second exposure.

7. Go to garage sales and flea markets.

Found objects can sometimes be fun to arrange and rearrange, to shoot from different angles and in different combinations. I even combine some of the old found objects with some new things for interesting combinations to paint or photograph.

8. Watch an old movie (any movie, really).

While watching old movies, I have spotted some great scenery that has inspired me to pay more attention to composition. The old spaghetti westerns that made Clint Eastwood a star and many of John Wayne’s western classics have some amazing scenery that can’t help but inspire any painter or photographer.

Photo by Thomas Hawk; ISO 100, f/16.0, 2-second expsoure.

9. Enter a photo contest.

If you are hesitant to put yourself out there, so to speak, enter some photos or paintings in a county fair or exposition. The contests are open to anyone, and entering will give you the opportunity to check out what others are producing. You’ll get some useful feedback on your creations, as well. Hopefully, this will inspire some of you to get out there and create. I know it has me in the mood to pick up my camera and head for the car; I saw an old barn I want to photograph at sunset tonight!

About the Author:
Written and submitted by Marsha Thornton ( She is an artist and self-taught photographer.

I hope this gave you some ideas that you can do while you are stuck at home. Remember, you can get out and do things yourself, and go places, just don’t be around people. My wife and I have had a great time going for a drive, and seeing the beauty that is around us. And going to some State Park. So, just go through this list, and find something to take photos of. You will be glad you did.

Here are some recent photos we have taken that are from places around the house, and at State parks, or places we went, just to take photos:

Photo taken in our backyard of a Blue Jay Scrub, getting ready to eat peanuts

Image taken at Antelope Island State park of Buffalo.

Photo of an old somewhat fallen church that we found on a drive in a small city

A photo I’ve always wanted to take: Standing in the middle of this road, going out to Antelope Island State Park, with no cars on the road, and looking back from where we came, and the most perfect sky ever.

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