Photographic Inspiration

An email came in yesterday from a reader asking where I found my photographic inspiration, especially now in the middle of a statewide drought. Under conditions like this it’s easy to become creatively lethargic since all the “low hanging fruit” of your creativity has been picked clean.

My inspiration comes from many sources including other blogs, books and magazines. Even though several portions of central Texas are under severe drought there are still some great photographic opportunities to be had. Texas is a big place and the upper lakes region of the Colorado river (Inks Lake, Lake LBJ) seem to be doing much better than other areas west of Austin. There are several really great spots for sunrise and sunset shots around Marble Falls / Kingsland as well Enchanted Rock, which is beautiful at almost any time of the year.

Last weekend I went to Goliad to shoot the two Missions and got back with some really nice exposures like the image below. Later this week I’m headed back to the western edge of the Hill Country (Garner State Park, Lost Maples State Natural Area, Hill Country State Natural Area and the Guadalupe River State Park) to scout alternate locations for my fall workshop.

Mission Espiritu Santo

Mission Espiritu Santo in Goliad, Texas
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture priority (Av) using an TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/16 for 1/50th of a second using a Singh-Ray 2-stop, graduated neutral density filter at ISO 100 on Lexar Professional digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4 using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro filter. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Check out some of Wyman Meinzer‘s books on Amazon. He’s the best known Texas photographer and has travelled the state for years in all sorts of conditions. His images continue to inspire me daily. Pick up a copy of Texas Highways or Texas Parks & Wildlife magazines while you’re at it. There’s always two or three great spots featured in each issue.

If you really get stuck, try the local arboretums or even a nursery on a cloudy day. You can always get some great shots of flowers and plants in places like this. Even in the most bone-dry, barren areas, there are always photographic opportunities if you have an open and relaxed outlook. If you get really (Really) stuck, just send me an email. I’m more than happy to share any of my favorite spots in this great state of Texas!

8 thoughts on “Photographic Inspiration

  1. Well, in London we are just getting into my favourite time of year for photography as the dawn and evening colours seem best, and appear at more “accessible” hours!

    As a minor aside, the photo of the church in this post has had the contrast pushed a little too far for my screen – the white wall appears to be “blown” while the dark areas are perhaps a little too shaded. Is that my monitor, or just a difference in personal taste?

    Love the photo otherwise!

    • Richard,

      Thanks for reading and for your comments. I opened the church image again in Lightroom and there are no completely blown out white areas but there are several areas of deep black which is intentional. I learned my black & white film and print processing techniques almost 35 years and have always been a proponent of Ansel Adam’s Zone system. The bright white areas in this image are really only zone 8 with only a few spots of zone 9. The shadows in the trees are mostly zone 2 with a few areas of zone 1. This is typically what I try to accomplish when converting from color to black & white. You’ll need to click on the image in the blog post to open the larger version which really does contain zone 1 through zone 9 shades of gray.


  2. I think there is inspiration all around. It is a matter of seeing. Sherlock Holmes said it best. When explaining the difference between himself and Dr. Watson, Holmes said, “You look but you do not see.” I think the same can be said about photography. A good photographer sees photos everywhere.

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