Actually, I think the inspiration to create a beautiful photograph strikes me most strongly when I'm supposed to be doing something else. Like work. Emails. Marketing. And lord knows with a lighting workshop coming up in a couple weeks, there's plenty I need to get done down here at the studio. And this got me to thinking (a dangerous thing, I know) about the supposed dichotomy between work and pleasure, business and inspiration. If our eyes are open, we should be inspired every waking minute.
This struck me as I kept gazing on some flowers I picked out of our garden this morning. I thought they'd be nice in a vase down here, but it was hard to keep my attention focused on my "work". Honestly my "work" is taking pictures, so the rest of the morning was spent in flower arrangement and photoshop. And I feel pretty good about that.
One of the single best pieces of advice ever given to me, many years ago, was by an artist, a painter who frequently sold his work in my dad's art gallery. Everything, he said -- everything -- is visual material for a great image, if you just keep your eyes open and look for it. Every scene is a landscape, every face a portrait, every direction you look holds valuable promise. Use your mind's eye to make the adjustments, the calculations, and the decisions to take that picture. You don't always need a camera.
I bet a take a thousand pictures a day.
Yogi Berra tells us that you can observe a lot, just by watching. Wise man, that Yogi.