How a New Personal Project Keeps Me Inspired

A few months ago I got a call from Dylan Goldby, who is a legendary photographer and writer for F-stoppers. He was coming down to my neck-of-the-woods and wanted to meet up for some sunrise shots and some coffee.

The Baby  Bottle Lighthouse

Checking the map, I had to laugh as he told me to meet him at the baby bottle lighthouse, which is in front of the Mazinger Z Lighthouse which next to the Taekwon V Lighthouse. I got a good little chuckle out of this.

Chatting over coffee, Dylan and I discussed some of the many unique lighthouses that there are around the area. This got me thinking about a new personal project. Why not shoot all the unique lighthouses that I can find in Korea?

Gijang Lighthouses

Fishing for more information, I posted to several photography groups in the area. My friend Leigh MacArthur suggested starting a new instagram account for this project as he did. Leigh started a new account some time ago for Buddhist temples around Korea. It is a great project with some truly stunning images.

On January 1st, I started the new account and began my search. It was a refreshing challenge to find these places. It took me to a few new places too. I love the thrill of finding new lighthouses like I did recently in a village called Gampo, near Gyeongju. I was there to shoot one set of lighthouses and then I found another and while I was scouting the new lighthouse, I found yet another!

This project sparked a thrill and a challenge that has sort of reinvigorated my love for photography. Having this new project has also challenged me to use equipment that I don’t normally use like my 70-200mm lens or my 10-stop ND filter.

Gampo Lighthouses

It also adds a nice bit of variety to my typical routine. Having the second instagram account means that I can organize my images better. I can keep a concise portfolio of lighthouse images on one account and the rest of my work on another. This also makes it easy for me to update my website galleries as well.

Strangely enough, today I watched the new Peter McKinnon video about becoming uninspired with photography. He touched on this very topic and also offered some other ideas as well.

The bottom line here is that at times you are going to run out of ideas or simply become uninspired. I know that I certainly was in many regards. However, things like getting a drone, making cinemagraphs, playing around with a crystal ball, and now lighthouses, keep me inspired and above all keep me learning.

One bonus that comes from doing all these projects is that often you will have to learn how to do something new. It keeps you sharp and constantly learning. I encourage you to get out there and start a new project for 2019. Let me know what it is in the comments!

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