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Category: Inspiration

two old Volkswagon vans sit abandoned in a forest with the surrounding greenery seemingly swallowing them.

The Ongoing Guide to Getting Unstuck

By Kyle McDougall

For this article today, I figured I’d switch things up a little bit and write about a topic that I’ve become very familiar with throughout my career, and also one that I’m constantly trying to find new solutions for.

That is—how to get unstuck when you’re feeling burnout, lacking creativity, or even just getting bored.

sunset on stretch of beach in Prince Edward Island featuring a lone lighthouse on the point

The Photo Journey: Q+A with Stephen DesRoches

OFFBEAT recently had a chance to sit down with OFFBEAT contributor and Prince Edward Islander Stephen DesRoches to pick his brilliant photographer and web designer brain and learn more about his photo journey. Turns out, he is a fountain of knowledge and as down-to-earth as they come…

What are some tips that you would give to a beginner photographer?

Study but don’t compare. Ask questions but don’t copy. Think about why instead of how. Many will learn so much more simply by doing and practicing and we could all spend a little less time wishing we would have created the image we saw on social media. Find a good resource that teaches the basic principles of how the aperture relates to the shutter speed and then go out and create, and then create some more. Ignore the marketing and advertising promising new equipment will make you better and understand that all you really need is the motivation to actually create. Buy only to solve problems that you have self-identified. 

The Mobile Blind

By Colleen Gara

My favourite way to photograph wildlife is on foot, whether hiking or snowshoeing, or walking out to a quiet spot in the woods to sit and wait.

But sometimes, circumstances such as the proximity of the animal, type of animal, or weather can prevent me from venturing out too far. This is when my ‘mobile blind’ comes in super handy. A blind is a shelter (usually camouflaged) that is used to observe and photograph wildlife and often I will use my car as a type of blind, allowing me to photograph wildlife both safely and discreetly.

Finding Your Niche

By Lizzy Gadd

When I look at my work now, I admit I do feel very fortunate to have somehow fallen into this niche of ethereal self-portraiture/landscape mixtures that, I humbly also admit, I am kind of proud of.

It was a long process getting there. I don’t really know how it happened. But the moment I found it, it felt right. It’s what speaks to me, being able to express myself, and my love of nature, together. And so I’ve been doing exactly that for nine years now, and it still feels right.

Being Prepared is Being Professional

By Wayne Simpson

I remember when I first started out using lighting in portraiture – it was nerve-wracking! I recall things going wrong and I would just keep trying things blindly until something worked. Many times, I had no idea what I had changed or why it worked… but it worked and I got the hell out of there as soon as I knew I had what I needed!

Things happen. Lights fail, transmitters don’t communicate, random unwanted light appears in photos. Heck, I’ve seen it all! The difference now is that I have a plan A, B, C, and sometimes D! Knowing various ways to approach a shoot is not only a great way to be sure you don’t let a client down, but it also brings your stress level down BIG TIME!

Offbeat, OFFBEAT, OFFBEAT Photography Community, Easter Island Workshop, Easter Island 2020

Five Faces of Enigmatic Easter Island

By OFFBEAT
All photography by Paul Zizka

There are few places on the planet that possess the same sense of mystery and wonder as Easter Island. Rapa Nui, as it’s also known, will surprise you at every turn, from the scale of the ancient Moai carvings (“big heads”) that adorn the island, to the diversity of the landscape. Here you’ll find rugged coastlines, jaw-dropping volcanic formations, and peaceful grasslands that grace the interior. Wild horses rule the land while birdlife soars above.

Kyle McDougall OFFBEAT Photo Storytelling

What Are You Trying to Say?

By Kyle McDougall

What are you trying to say?

A question that I revisit often. It grounds me and gets me back on track whenever I’m pulled in different directions during this wild creative journey. But maybe even more importantly, the answer to that question plays a huge role in helping me make decisions in the field and later on while back home processing.

Thinking Beyond a Snapshot: 12 Key Components to Consider

By Kahli Hindmarsh

When I first started to take photos, one of my biggest hurdles I faced was figuring out how to take what was in front of my camera and turn it into a compelling image.

That should be the easy part, right? Find an interesting subject, point your camera, press the shutter and boom! Not quite… I was visiting these amazing places, but when I looked at my images, all I saw was “tourist” style snapshots. They lacked meaning and interest. They were cluttered and messy. They didn’t tell a story.

The Role of Discomfort in Photography

I have long been convinced that putting up with momentary discomfort – even misery – can often lead to more compelling images.

Many times, finding a better composition can be achieved by taking the shoes off and shocking the feet for a second, or bushwhacking for a couple of minutes, or walking uphill for 50 metres. The vast majority of photographers can physically accomplish those things, but they shy away from getting out of their comfort zone for a moment. And I believe that going that extra mile is what makes the difference between a good image and a powerful one, and by extension, between a good photographer and a much better one.

Discomfort is very underrated in photography. I bet it’s one of the main limiting factors for a lot of people, whether they’re aware of it or not.