Live. Love. Harm no one. Help when you can. Be happy.
By: BriarCraft , 10:24 PM GMT on March 22, 2014
... to break your routine and do something that makes you feel really alive?
In the past few years, I have experienced some very different sources of inspiration -- each as good as the next.
Frustration that worsening arthritis was limiting my activities, prompted me to think of something I could enjoy without frustration, and that lead to a mid-December, 2011, daytrip to a beach near Cape Kiwanda, Oregon.
During the spring and summer of 2012, while recovering from hip replacement surgery, boredom prompted several daytrips where I could enjoy Nature's beauty without too much physical effort. I rediscovered several beautiful spots in my own back yard, so to speak, including nearby Mt. St. Helens.
Frustration and boredom ultimately taught me the joys of inexpensive daytrips. Taking my camera along on those trips taught me to slow down and really look at what I was seeing. The end result? I vowed not to forget those lessons as I regained mobility and stamina.
When RenoSoHill organized the 2013 WU Photographers Gathering in Gold Beach, Oregon, I felt inspired to go. This was more than a daytrip and also the first time in a long time that I had taken a vacation by myself. And it seemed the perfect opportunity to learn from more experienced photographers. Though I had been to the Oregon Coast many times over the years, this was the first time I had really, really seen the beauty in views like this one of Heceta Head Lighthouse.
Over the course of shooting thousands of photos and enjoying the many wonderful photos in the WUblogs and WUgallery I somehow developed an appreciation of what makes some photos better than others. Over time, I found that I can fairly reliably pick out many of my favorite WUphotographers' photos just by looking over the thumbnail images in the WUgalleries. Some, I am drawn to because of subject matter, others, because of a certain composition style. Lots of reasons. Lots of favorites. They inspire me to try different techniques, different compositions.
When 2014 rolled around, I started thinking about what sort of photo shoots I would like to enjoy this year. It didn't take me long to get inspired. All it took was a series of Night Heron photos by Backwardguy near Umatilla, Oregon, and McNary Dam. I just had to make an opportunity to see these striking birds in person.
A little research taught me that it is mating season for Sandhill Cranes not far from Umatilla, OR, and Kennewick, WA in late March and early April. Now I was doubly inspired to have that photo shoot adventure. Soon, I will go explore a region that I have only seen while driving through, at 70+ mph, on my way somewhere else. I was amazed to learn there are 8 National Wildlife Refuges in the area, plus a whole lot of other natural areas and parks. And Backwardguy has even offered to show me where to find those intriguing Night Herons.
What inspires WU to break your routine? Is it something you read about or see on TV? Do you get inspired by what you see around WUville? What inspires you to pick up your camera and find something to point it at? What brings you that "Aha!" moment where you feel inspired to do something fun and/or creative?
Comments will take a few seconds to appear.