I am incredibly fortunate to live on a beautiful tropical island in the pacific. Yet I still go through phases where I can't seem to find anything to photograph, or at least anything I want to photograph. One great solution to this conundrum is to travel somewhere, somewhere out of your normal day-to-day surroundings, somewhere where suddenly everything feels different, fresh and exciting. For me, recently this somewhere was Tokyo, about 1000 miles and a 2 1/2 hour plane ride away. Now I've been to Tokyo many times, I even lived outside of Tokyo for many years back in the late eighties early nineties. Regardless of how many times I've been to Tokyo it always gets my creative juices flowing.
Maybe it's the speed at which the city moves, it's electric, and feels like you can almost plug in and click "start" like a living breathing video game. Coming from Okinawa, and the standard "island time" that everything runs on, it's a rush to say the least. For a photographer, Tokyo is utopia.
So next time you feel like you in a rut, or just can't seem to see the photos around you, go somewhere. Get in your car and drive. Take the train, plane or bus. I recently watched a documentary about three friends who biked the length of Japan, over 3500 kilometers documenting their journey along the way. Changing your location changes your perspective, so grab your camera and take a day trip, fly across the country, or the world if you can. Where you go doesn't matter as long as it breaks you out of your routine.
Wherever you decide to go don't take a lot of gear with you. Force yourself to take one camera, one lens, and maybe a flash. You don't want to be lugging around a bunch of gear and mind dealing about which lens to use. Travel light and shoot lighter. :)