Instant inspiration: minutes of bliss when I least expected them

I often travel long distances to see impressive landscapes and catch glimpses of stunning light; at the same time I spent a fair amount of time to research potential locations and moments in time to capture them. Both procedures – travelling and planning – are meant to give me a creative boost, to motivate and inspire me. Yet, it seems a bit contradictory to plan for creativity and inspiration as both of these phenomena are strongly connected with unpredicted events, with moments of surprise and joy. I believe that it is possible to increase the possibility that moments like this happen through travelling and planning, but that should not make us walk through the world blindfolded and unaware of the opportunities that appear all of a sudden when we least expect them. This is what happened to me one Monday morning on my way to work.

When you’re not working full time as a photographer you face the challenge of going or driving to your day job every Monday morning. It’s the time when you need a motivation boost to start the week, but normally a way to work is not exactly the most inspiring thing to do. So surprise hit me hard this morning when I noticed some of the coolest formations of cracked ice that I’ve seen in a long time. There is a small canal next to the office I inhabit and the constant change of temperatures above and below freezing has created this miraculous constellation.

When I arrived at the bridge that crosses the canal the sun just started to rise above some trees and buildings nearby and started interplay of light and shadow on the shards. I rushed to my office, grabbed a compact camera, (enabled raw and aperture priority mode,) and spent the following minutes running around like crazy to shoot the ice.

These brief moments of bliss again told me the lesson that I’ve tried to take to heart more than once: Keep your eyes open, be spontaneous and let your inspiration run free if it’s been woken up. And, you might find beauty far closer to home than you believe.