Be Inspired by Others…

Galleries are a wonderful place to inspire new ideas when your creativity is on life support… and the provide perfect opportunities for some great images.

On my recent jaunt to Japan, I visited the 21_21 Design Sight Gallery in Tokyo to see the Frank Ghery exhibition. You can check it out here. The exhibition was created to help people understand the creative process Ghery goes through from concept to finished building. Multiple design iterations for a range of buildings were on display, from initial sketches to cardboard models to final models to images of the finished buildings.

The models were fascinating pieces independent of their real life use in his work.

Roll 401 M7 HP5iso800638

Spending time with Ghery’s work helped me see the world in a new way. Seeing his fascination with the fish form and how it has influenced his designs gave new meaning to his buildings. I tend to see the world in lines and frames, but after understanding Ghery a little more, fluid forms have been more recognisable to me.

It also helped me appreciate architectural shapes and forms more. I can’t put my finger on the exact impact, but I just seem to be more interested in buildings now…


“So you get an idea. A stupid idea but you like it. So you look at it till you don’t like it. So then you make another model as another way of looking at the first stupid idea; and you like it but only for a little while. So then you hate some of it so you make another model to fix it but it looks different but you like it so you look at it until you start to not like it then. You try to fix it and a new idea comes out which you like better and then you don’t like it so much but still a little. So guess what you do? Yes you make another model. So this goes on and on and on till you got so many models it costs a fortune to store them. But you go on anyway. More and more till voila the piece de resistance. It’s glorious, it’s cheap, it looks different. So nobody likes it.

You’d cry, you’d nearly die. Then the lord sends a messenger. He hypnotizes all the people so they all like the idea. They want to steal the idea, they want to steal the models. They want a piece of your mind and soul. But you’re strong and don’t give it.
You just want to make a new idea. You want to be alone to make new models – so expensive to store, and you keep going until you’re broke from storing the models.
That’s a major histoire. It’s legendary and it’s true.

The sequel is people get jealous. That’s good if it makes them work hard to be better. Most of the time they work harder to destroy. This part’s difficult.”

Frank Gehry

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These photos from Japan were inspired by my trip to the Ghery Exhibition. They are just initial explorations in response to what I saw. I am not quite sure yet where it is going to take me, but ya gotta start somewhere!

You can read more about how to take inspiration from other creative people here :

Picasso’s “The Bull”

Applying “The Bull” Concept in Hong Kong

I was also going to talk a bit about a recent trip to the Andy Warhol Exhibition in Melbourne, but I mistakenly exposed all the rolls I shot to daylight. Forgot to zip up my dark tent prior to loading the films onto reals…

The other great thing about galleries is that they are chock full of aesthetic spots for you to shoot. Providing the gallery is OK with photographing things, you can also take photos of anyone or anything without anyone questioning what you are doing.

Here are some of my shots from the Ghery Exhibition. Some great aesthetics, some people shots, and great light. Just remember to try and add something to the composition. Don’t just make a carbon copy of someone else’s work (read more about this here).

They are not all “keepers” but they illustrate the points around

  • nice aesthetics and light
  • people not minding being photographed
  • adding something to the composition

Museums and other similar public buildings are great places for you to confidently practice taking images of people. Here is one from my trip to Japan at the Miraikan Museum.

Whilst I managed to isolate the subjects in the both images, there were plenty of people milling about.  The venue makes it a lot easier to capture images of people with confidence.

If you are still building your confidence in shooting strangers, galleries and museums are an easy way to explore.


2 Responses to “Be Inspired by Others…”

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