Inspiration and Creativity

Navigating Social Media: The Energy Vortex in Landscape Photography


Inspiration serves as both the flame that ignites the artistic spirit, and paradoxically, a potential blockage in the creative pipeline. The beauty of inspiration lies in its ability to motivate you to venture out and create. But when it morphs into a prerequisite for your creativity, it becomes a hindrance. It is often more beneficial to initiate the creative process, regardless of your current state of inspiration. It’s not uncommon for inspiration and motivation to follow suit. Ultimately, the long-term driving force for any artist is the flow state experienced during the creative process.

Sources of Inspiration: A Double-Edged Sword

There are numerous wellsprings of motivation and inspiration – photography books, films, workshops, and interactions with like-minded individuals. But what about the most prevalent and accessible source: Social media? It is here that we encounter the energy vortex. While platforms like Youtube and Instagram are filled with inspiring content and remarkable works from admirable photographers, they excel in one particular aspect. They’re masters at retaining your attention.

In the world of social media, where the currency is the time you spend on the platform, remember: “When you are not paying for the product, YOU ARE the product.”

While the discourse on social media is extensive, I recommend watching the documentary “The social dilemma” (2020) to understand the mechanics of contemporary social media. You may watch a single inspiring video on YouTube, but instead of igniting your creative spark, another enticing video thumbnail lures you in, promising to augment your initial inspiration. This cycle repeats, and you find yourself engulfed in a stream of videos. The end result? A drained, uninspired state where your initial burst of creativity has evaporated. This issue is even more prevalent on platforms like Instagram, aptly earning them the moniker of “black holes.” If you’ve found yourself in this situation, it’s not your fault. Your brain is simply wrestling against an Artificial Intelligence system, designed to keep you engaged and continuously improving.

My Strategy: Offline Inspiration

I follow one rule – derive my sources of inspiration offline. If it’s an article or blog post, I save it to a ‘read it later’ app like Pocket, avoiding direct reading on a website. For photographs, physical books and galleries are my go-to. I also appreciate portfolios on photographers’ websites, using a clipping app to capture screenshots for later offline study (while respecting copyright laws, of course).

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is social media considered a ‘black hole’ for creativity?
    Social media platforms are designed to keep users engaged for extended periods. This can lead to a drained, uninspired state, negatively impacting creativity.
  2. How can I avoid the negative effects of social media on my inspiration?
    One strategy is to source your inspiration offline. This could be through physical books, galleries, or saving online content to ‘read it later’ apps for offline viewing.
  3. Is there a way to effectively use social media for inspiration in landscape photography?
    Yes, you can still use social media for inspiration. It’s crucial, however, to be aware of the potential pitfalls and maintain a disciplined approach to consumption.


Inspiration is a vital catalyst for creativity in landscape photography. However, in the era of social media, it’s crucial to navigate these platforms wisely to avoid the energy vortex that can drain inspiration. Striking a balance in sourcing inspiration can help maintain a consistent flow of creativity.