The Digital Photography School is a website dedicated to providing articles that support the development of skills in the field of digital photography, and whether your interest is in equipment advice and reviews, learning some post production techniques or improving your photography, be it portrait, landscape, street, architectural, pets or more.

I receive an email from them on a regular basis, telling me of new articles and reviews to read, and whilst more often than not it arrives when I don’t have the time to devote to it, even an occasional read can be productive.

Something that caught my eye this time was a piece entitled “What to do when there’s nothing to shoot” a list of eight activities to consider on days when you think there’s nothing worth unpacking the camera for.  If you want the full details I suggest you follow the link above and read the article, but essentially the 8 tips were:

  1. Go to the zoo
  2. Eat a biscuit
  3. Pick up some paperclips
  4. Hit the streets
  5. Go see a friend
  6. Shoot yourself (careful how you interpret this one)
  7. Grab a beer
  8. Practice your technical skills

Now all bar the last of these could be nothing to do with your camera, but of course all of them are.  The reason the article resonated with me was because my recent travelling has meant spending a lot of time in hotel rooms, which is fine when you can chat to someone special, but not so good when they have a prior engagement!  You can go out of course, as my recent night-time pictures in Liverpool and Widnes demonstrate, but when the weather is icy cold that doesn’t seem an attractive option.

So what opportunities for creativity lie in a humble (and in this case very humble) hotel room?

Well with a willing model to hand there would be plenty; Christa Meola’s whole business revolves around the regular use of hotel rooms and usually ones that she hasn’t encountered before so she must work from a cold start (not literally given the amount of flesh in her pictures) to create something beautiful.

I didn’t think I was going to be able to create something beautiful in my room this week, but I thought it was worth a try to capture something more abstract.

I began with the obvious, looking for patterns and leading lines to follow:



Moving on I tried different degrees of focus to find another option.



Finally I moved on to post processing to provide something different.  The first is certainly unrecognisable as the cushion of the chair in my room, but I’m quite happy with the second.



I suppose it all falls under the category of tip number eight, and whilst I won’t be selling any of them to Tate Modern, it was an interesting challenge.


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