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Finding Inspiration

In many ways photography is quite literally a form of tunnel vision. From a physical standpoint, you have your eye fixed to a viewfinder while looking through a dark tube whose glass optics help bring focus to the world beyond. Your vision gives meaning and context to the images you make. But vision and creativity notwithstanding, your photos are still only a very personal slice of the world around you.

When I first began taking photography seriously, I knew so much less about myself, let alone about photography. At the time, I thought I knew what words like “inspiration” and “creativity” meant, but I really didn’t. So I understand that when you’re new at the craft of photography it’s all too easy to look to your own peers for ideas, inspiration, and concepts. After all, they see the world in a way you wish you could see it. But as time goes along, you begin to realize that there’s such a wide world of experience – artistically and otherwise – outside your own field of expertise. And there are artists whose unique vision and technique can bring a much broader mindset to the table, resulting in a much richer experience for the artist even if he chooses to stay within the realm of a given specialty. That’s why I enjoyed seeing the productions of the following two artists. I’ll probably never have the chance to attempt the locations or the approach that they did here; after all, we can’t all travel to or live near a volcano or on a mountain slope (or can we?). But their imagery of our amazing Planet Earth inspires me to look for beauty, color, movement, and the awesomeness of the planet and people around us, no matter the environment.

This first short film was created by Sean Stiegemeier, who wanted to capture the power of the unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano on Iceland that affected so much of Europe for weeks during the Spring of 2010. He captured these images over the course of two days in May 2010. His amazing imagery speaks to the amount of effort he put into the task.

This next piece is a time-lapse masterpiece, a true work of art created by pro nature and astronomy photographer Terje Sørgjerd. Terje traveled to El Teide, Spain’s highest mountain, also the location of one of the world’s best observatories. He wanted to capture the beauty of the Milky Way galaxy and also happened to capture a large Saharan sandstorm, which only added to the stunning results. Terje’s efforts are testament to the fact that preparation leads to results anyone will fall in love with, but flexibility to capture the unexpected leads to things that can never be duplicated. Enjoy!

Artistic inspiration moves you not to copy, but to simply See and Do More.

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