Curiosity and how hardware stores are the best source of inspiration

I use a Nikon D7000 and my favorite lens is a Nikkor 40mm 2.8G. Then I have several tripods, a few reflectors, and my trusty camera bag that I love more than any fancy purse. Ok, truth be told, there are a few more lenses and filters and accessories. But the 40mm, one sturdy Manfrotto tripod and the bag (a Tenba, for those interested) are really all I need for almost any shoot. Therefore, I don't spend a lot of time in camera stores. In fact, I think I haven't been to one in almost two years. Where I like to spend time is in fabric stores, at flea markets, and especially in hardware stores! I ALWAYS, without exception, walk out with something that I could use for my photography. They are just great, aren't they? Clamps, pieces of wood, random containers, construction lights, paint, tape, barbed wire, regular wire.....just so many great items to use for photography!

During my years in the US I saw my share of ginormous hardware stores. But now, living in a small country where everything is.....well, small, imagine my absolute delight when my husband and I discovered this DIY store the other week that even had a DRIVE-IN section!!! I have heard rumors that something like this existed but have never seen one in person. Imagine all the stuff you can get there for all your photography projects. [I do sound like a complete geek, don't I?] My husband quickly succumbed to his fate and patiently walked miles and miles through that store with me. Also, he tried not to look too embarrassed when I let out a small shriek of joy when I found the perfect ROPE. Trust me, only fellow (conceptual) photographers will understand my reaction ;) I proudly brought home my rope, sat down, and started sketching my photo ideas. Let me tell you, items like this make me happier than any pair of shoes. I'm a photographer girl, not a girl-girl after all :)

Two days, one quiet morning, and a night shift later I finished my first rope image. I kept it very simple and for this simplicity I love this image.


I also recorded while editing and, as always, you can watch the video right here! I have used stock images of ropes in the past and the resolution was always terrible. So, this time around and with my very own rope I could photograph rope sections individually and piece them together later (as you can see in the video).

I cannot wait for my next trip to my new favorite store and I'm curious to hear if you share my love for hardware stores. Have you purchased items in DIY stores that you couldn't find anywhere else to incorporate into your photography? Which ones and for what images? Let me know in the comments section below!