Great photography is everywhere. Advertisements, magazines, newspapers, the internet – everywhere. When I have the desire to be inspired, one of the things that I do is pick up a magazine covering a subject that I know little to nothing about and just flip through the pages, studying the images. I study composition, light, post processing, and I take it all in.
The advantage of picking up something that you know nothing about allows the photos to really grab our attention. That being said, I look at magazines like Vogue and Elle since I don’t really follow fashion. Sports, outdoor, and tech magazines distract me easily because the cover subjects that I’m very interested in. (I know, the image above is Golf Digest but it’s what I had laying around at the time.)
Dan Winters photographed the cover story for this particular issue of Golf Digest, and when I grabbed the issue out of the mailbox I knew right away who the photographer was. Dan’s work is clean, a little muted, and is extremely well lit. His lighting style draws very little attention to itself which I love.
Now, although I’ve done this sort of thing for as long as I’ve held a camera, I can’t take complete credit for the idea. David Hobby over at Strobist brought this up several months back and that’s what really brought my attention to it again. Regardless, I’ve always enjoyed pictures. I’ve enjoyed them for as long as I can remember.
So next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure to stop by the magazine rack and pick up something you wouldn’t normally buy and study the photographs. You’ll be inspired and you’ll be educated. Try and pick out lighting details as well as some post processing techniques and you’ll find ways to improve upon your own style. Try it, and let us know what you think in the comments.