Get Inspired!
Presented by Glenn Springer, TIF, RHCC

Do you have your "A-Game" with you at all times?
No? Then you need to find a way.


Same rocks, 2013.


I shot this picture when I first moved up here in 2007. Since then, I've shot dozens – no, hundreds – of pictures from the same spot. And somehow they're all different.


Like anything else, it’s hard to stay enthusiastic about photography 100% of the time. People say to me, “you’ve lived up in the Highlands a long time (6 years now: I know that doesn’t make me a native, but hey…). How do you keep finding things to shoot pictures of?”. It’s not always easy, but every day brings new things to see!

Just this morning I was out at dawn shooting the same old rocks on 12 Mile Lake for the umpteenth time! One day I’m going to get that killer shot. But last week, I thought, “enough ducks, mushrooms are interesting but…”.

Here are some links to blogs by famous, and very inspiring photographers:

Joe McNally has shot cover stories for hundreds of publications, including National Geographic, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated.

Moose Peterson is an acclaimed wildlife photographer who also has a huge interest in aviation photography

Trey Ratcliff probably has more people following him than Madonna! He's a landscape photographer who has recently moved to New Zealand

Dan Bailey is an adventure photographer based in Alaska

David DuChemin is a Canadian photographer from BC who has amazing wildlife images

Glenn Springer is a landscape and event photographer right here in the Highlands! Oh, yeah – that's me!

There are dozens of others, too many to mention!

There are times when I’m not particularly inspired. But I have a sure-fire cure: look at other photographers’ work! We live in the Internet age, so there are millions of opportunities to do just that. Here’s what I do:

• I read Blogs. About a dozen of them. Some post new articles every week or two, a couple are daily things. I try to avoid the ones that are trying to sell me something, but there are lots of them out there that post interesting pictures and stories. Start with mine, at There are famous photographers out there too, like Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, Trey Ratcliff, Dan Bailey…


A cool place to hang out

There's a great online forum that welcomes new and experienced photoenthusiasts alike. It's a small group, but there are members from all over the world! We especially need new people who want to make use of this great resource. If you're ever stuck with a question you can't answer, or looking for a better way to do something, this is the place for you!

A little history: some time ago, a bunch of us became disgruntled with the way another forum we belonged to was being run. What had been a friendly place had become uncomfortable and commercially motivated. No point in identifying them...

So we left and started a new place to hang out. The activity level has become a little low and we were trying to come up with why. Someone pointed out that the old forum was a busy place because a lot of people asked advice about photography in general, Photoshop/Lightroom, even such topics as copyright issues, suppliers, etc. They went on to point out that the majority of the members of the new group are experienced and knowledgeable so these questions didn't come up. We need new members who have questions about stuff!

So we have a place where there are about 100 experts (and me. I'm not expert...) who love to share their knowledge and their work, who are all friendly and non-judgmental, who would like nothing better than to help answer any and all questions. Who love to see people's work and provide gentle critique (if it's asked for) and suggestions, who like playing photography games like the ongoing "Battle" where you start with a common image and do whatever you want with it creatively, or the monthly "Rally" (soon to resume) where you have a week to shoot and submit pictures on a specified topic, or even "Where is this?" where you do whatever you have to, to answer that question about a photo submitted. Marco is quite devious, but they're all solvable!

So you're all invited to join. It doesn't matter about your experience level, whether you want to ask questions or try to answer them, or just join in the banter and fun, and enjoy images from the members in the "Show and Tell" threads. You don't have to post, you can just sit back and read but it's more fun if you do.

Oh, and it's TOTALLY FREE. In fact we all offered to contribute to help set it up and run it but Annie, the person who set it up, wouldn't take a cent.

How do you access it? I thought you'd never ask! Go here, and follow the bouncing ball!






I belong to an online forum called “TIF” (The Imaging Forum). Look on the tips page for a link. It’s open to anyone, and it’s a small but rich resource if you have any questions about photography, or Photoshop. There are about 100 experts that hang out there who like nothing better than to share their wealth of knowledge and who will offer a friendly critique when asked.

• I’m on FaceBook and Google+. I’m really not very good at of this social media stuff, but I’m trying.

The Angels and Mini-me. Shot during a recent workshop. A member of TIF helped me to do the embedded face in the wall.


Shooting with friends from the Richmond Hill Camera Club up in Bancroft







Get together with other photographers. I’m doing that next weekend (it’s September 25th as I’m writing this), with a group of hopefully around 20 photographers going up to enjoy the colours in Algonquin Park. It’s so much fun and you pick up so much watching other photographers work. One friend of mine from the Huntsville area has such creative vision, I am astounded by what she sees that I don’t! I always say “when I grow up, I want to be just like you!” (I’m almost 20 years older than her!).


On the beach at the Frost Centre at dawn.



Here's another hint. Get a storm cover for your camera. Here's the one I use.



Go to museums, galleries and exhibits. There’s nothing like looking at actual prints, especially those produced by the masters. I recently attended the Ansel Adams exhibit at the McMichael in Kleinburg (did you know that if you’re a member of the Rail’s End Gallery in Haliburton, you get free admission at other museums?). I left there with a new understanding of what makes a compelling image. I just wish I could be half that good!

I’m determined to get a camera club going up here in the Highlands. If you’re interested in joining or helping to make it happen, drop me a line. I have over 30 people so far who say they might be interested. Clubs are great because you get assignments that force you to go out and shoot and stretch yourself, and because fellow club members are always there to help when you’re stuck.

Take a course or participate in a workshop. You’ll meet great people and have a lot of fun learning. Oh and my number one way of improving anything I do? Teach someone else. I’m always amazed at how much I pick up from my students and just by trying to verbalize those techniques.

All of these images were shot from exactly the same spot!

Links to FACzen Photography:
We teach you how to become a better photographer. And we sell fine art images. Please check us out at the links below.


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