As I have been adjusting to my new life in Washington state, I have come to discover that I put myself in a photographic rut . . .

Mostly because a) I have no photographic contacts over here (don’t worry though, I have been working on establishing new contacts) and b) at the highpoint of my shooting, I wasn’t working or in school, which gave me a lot of time to focus on my photography – at the present moment, I am working, but aim to begin using my days off to take more photos.

Today, I was reading over the amazing (and one of my absolute favorite) photographer Rosie Hardy‘s blog posts and saw a set of photos she published from a wedding. Not only were her color photos absolutely stunning, but her black and whites really caught my eye. These were the most crisp and well-exposed digital black and whites I had seen. I literally felt like I was looking at 35mm b&w prints.

And it was after looking at Rosie Hardy’s inspiring photos that I felt galvanized to take photographs again. I felt the same itch I used to feel to bring my camera with me everywhere, to capture anything that caught my eye. Unfortunately, I didn’t venture too far from home today, so I settled on taking a self-portrait.

Seventy shots later, I finally settled on the following two shots:

Basically, what I did was pull all of my dusty camera gear out of its hiding place in my closet and rig up my tripod. I composed the photo against a set of white window blinds (which I knew would blur as the camera focused on me), grabbed my 35mm Canon FTB QL as a prop, a light reflector, and fired away! If you are curious about the settings I had these photos on, they vary between 1600 and 800 ISO (I wasn’t worried about grain, I was in fact hoping for some to create a film look), and f-stops of 1.8 and 2.2 or so. Additionally, I think it’s important to mention that I had the camera literally set to black and white, rather than convert them to gray-scale in post processing. I was hoping to challenge myself a little bit since I barely ever work with digital b&w.

I really do like the outcome of the two photos I selected. Of all the 70 photos I took, I tried different poses and angels, only to discover what I really wanted to do was depict myself in front of the camera as who I am behind it. I say it was a success!

If you find yourself in a photographic rut, source inspiration from one of your favorite photographers or you can view this handy list I came across on Mostly Lisa‘s blog: She is slowly becoming another source of inspiration for me, especially since she has a Bachelor’s in journalism (hey, that’s what I’m studying for!)