I often get the question where do I get my inspiration from and the answer is easy, from everything around me. Almost every day you will see something that amazes you, surprises you, makes you happy or sad and in most of these situation there is an image in it. The only challenge is to capture that feeling in one single image or… in one single composite 😉

Well, lets see where I get my inspiration from in daily life and how I look at that situation to capture it in one single image and at the end I will do some brainstorming about one subject that might solve most of your monetary problems 😉

My son, my childhood

Most of the people know me because of the composites I create with my son as the leading character. Since he’s is around 4 years old I put him in all kind of situations. Sometimes surreal, sometimes just like in reality. It wasn’t my son that brought me the ideas for the composites, but by seeing him playing I remembered my own childhood. I remembered what made my laugh, sad or scared. So the images I made with him, aren’t the wishes of my son, but visualising my childhood.

For example, the image with the monsters. He never checked under his bed if there was any monster, but I remember doing this every day when I was young 😉

So, think about it and try to remember what you did and liked as a child. If you have children you can try to visualise your personal feeling by creating a photo or composite with them.


My son, looking under his bed to make sure that there aren’t any monsters


My son never played this ‘game’, but I did when I was young.  I can’t remember that I could ever fool somebody with it 🙂


Also reading books can help you with new images. Have you ever read a book and later on you saw it in a movie? Wasn’t the movie a bit disappointing to you? Well, for me it always does. The reason why isn’t so hard. When you read a book, you create a kind of movie in your head, with your own imagination. You give shape to the persons in this book. How they look like. Together with the writer and your fantasy you create this ‘movie’, but when you see the movie, created by Hollywood, the director chose for you how the persons look like. How they look, how they act. In most of situations your fantasy did a better job. Well, with your fantasy and the situations that the author of the book describes, there are a lots of images for you to create 😉

A small experiment

As explained before with the book, there is more creativity inside you than you might realise. Yesterday I tried a small experiment with my son and wife. I asked them ‘if I say “The kid was sitting on the street crying”, what kind of image to you get in your head? They both could give a clear description of what they saw in their mind. The road they saw, the clothes the boy was wearing. How he looked like etc. Both gave of course a complete different description of what they see in their mind. It’s something what happens to all of us. As soon as somebody tells you something your brain creates an image in your head. And there you have it, a photo to work out. Give it a try for yourself. 😉


The same like I explained above, with the small experiment and the part about books you can do with music. Not all musicians are capable of writing lyrics like they write a book, but some do. And the lyrics of those musicians can bring so many ideas for you. For example Pink Floyd. Let’s take one song of them. The song ‘hey You’. I love this song and the way they sing it together with the lyrics it brings up many pictures in my head. I wanted to paste the text of the song below, I asked for approval, but never got an answer. So, instead of copying the text below, I will discuss some parts of the song here. If you would like to see the complete text, please google on this one 😉 And, because of copying parts of a song is also not allowed, I change it a little bit 😉
What you can try, just for fun, is reading only the part written in bold. Try to describe what you see when you read that. After that, you can read my text what i imagine when i hear the lyrics. Maybe good to first listen to the song 😉


In the beginning of the song they sing about somebody ‘standing in the cold, getting lonely and old’.

If I read this text I imagine of an old man or woman, standing in the rain naked in the middle of the road that disappears to the horizon. Facing her or his head down and the hands alongside the body


They sing about ‘not helping to bury a light’

Here I see again a rainy scene. Actually almost this complete song gives me a rainy feeling, but okay. I see a rainy scene in the forest where two people sitting on the ground carrying a light they want to put in a hole. You already see that they dig a hole and now the light they bury is already half way the hole. It’s dark and their faces are lighten by the light. On the back side of their body you see the rim light of the moon that shines between the dark clouds.


A bit further they sing about a person ‘sitting naked by the phone’

Well, here I see an arty image of a woman sitting naked next to a phone waiting for someone to call her. You see her from the front with her legs over each other. With her arms she is covering her breasts. Besides her you see an old small table with an old phone (from the beginning of the 20th century). She is staring at this phone with a kind of sad face.


After that ‘with your ear against a wall, waiting for somebody to call out’

Here I see a boy around 10 years old, with a cup placed against the wall trying to listen what is said in the other room. The wall is an old wall with some parts of the wallpaper already coming off. Also situated in the early years of last century.


After that the song is about ‘if somebody will help to carry a stone’

When I read this I imagine a man with dirty clothes sitting on a dirty road, while rain is falling. On his lap he has a big stone. A passenger is walking by. You see this passenger from the back. The man on the ground is raising his arm to him, asking to help.


‘It is only a fantasy, the wall to high’

Here I imagine a boy facing a huge wall. The camera is almost on the ground close to his feet pointing up. The boy looks tall this way, but the wall behind him even taller. He is just looking with his hands alongside his body.


And the last image ‘Breaking bottles in the hall’

In this scene I would just put a woman in a hall, throwing a bottle on the ground with glass scattering all around the scene. Not only on the ground but also in the air. She is angry and her face’s and body’s expression shows that good.


Well… these are just a few examples that popped up into my head when reading and listening to this song. Just follow the images that pop up into your head and try to give them shape. No matter if they fit with the song or not. In August I will try to give shape to all these examples above. We’ll see!


Games, Movie posters and the news

I often get inspiration when walking in a store and see all the covers of games and movie posters. Almost all beautiful created by an artist. When I walk by I immediately want to start creating one myself. Try to copy a movie poster with your own models, it’s fun and you learn a lot by it. And by doing it, you get new ideas while working on it. With games and the news a bit the same. I like to see what game is popular at the moment, what news is booming or what news is hitting me and maybe most of the people. By using this for an image, you’re not only creating a nice image, but also get the attention of people and the media easier 😉

Below are some examples that I created.

Ghost Rider

I got inspired for this image by the movie poster of Ghost Rider. Instead of Nicolas Cage, my son Nic is the driver and his bicycle the motor bike ;). Movie posters are a great inspiration for me. I like it because of the action. It’s a totally different style like the images I often create with my son on it.

Angry birds

When the game ‘Angry birds’ was very popular I created this image. It was fun and a bit weird to get many messages of people who thought I really harmed the animals. Probably not seeing that it is just a composite 😉

Candy crushed

Another image based on a game. This time ‘Candy Crush’. My son is breaking an iPad here to get candy from the game 😉

Nice to Meat You

This images was inspired by the news. The news about politicians, bankers, brokers and car salesmen. I was thinking, it seems that people wearing suits, wear it to cover the lies and sales talk they are telling you. They look friendly but behind their back they hold a knife and they use it when needed 😉

Disclaimer… I know not all politicians, bankers, broker and salesmen are like that… it’s just for fun 😉

London Eye

I got the idea for this image when I saw the news on the Internet about freedom of Panorama. It was about the question if it is allowed for photographer to take images everywhere. About copyrights and that kind of stuff. The news was accompanied by a photo of the London Eye where they hide a big part of the wheel. By hiding it, it looked to me like a giant wheel of bicycle. So that gave me this idea 😉

Your image can be worth more than 100.000 dollar…

Yes, I couldn’t believe it as well, but this is the price you can earn if you win the photo contest from the HIPA this year. Even if your photo isn’t chosen as the best, your still can earn thousands of dollars with it in this contest, so let us focus on the HIPA. This years main theme is ‘Challenge’ and the best part for all digital artists: This year there is a special category for photo manipulated images or composites… yessss!!! 🙂

Okay as I said, this years theme is ‘Challenge’. I think a great theme and we can go into many directions with this theme. A theme great for photographers and digital artists. To win a contest, it is not good enough to shoot or create only a great looking image. Important is of course also the story behind it. And often drama scores better compared to something funny. There should be emotion in it! Show the challenge, make people feel it!

Now lets brainstorm a bit, with what ideas can I come if I think about challenge. Look around you. Look to your own life. There are so many challenges people are facing in their lives. The challenge of growing up. The challenge to win a game or match. The challenge of facing your fears.

So if I think about that, what is popping up in my mind now:

  • A just born turtle, that have to makes his way over the beach to the sea while birds flying try to catch him. One of the biggest challenges for a turtle. I can imagine a shot low just behind the turtle. You see him sharp and out of focus on the background, the ocean and birds flying around.
  • Arriving at time on work. A daily challenge for many people, but how can you show this? I see in front of me the inside of a car. You see the steering-wheel. One hand of the driver on the wheel, the other hand looking at his watch, while in front of him is a major traffic jam.
  • An athlete, just before he start  the 100 meter running. To see the pure focus and concentration on his face
  • A man balancing on a thin rope, trying to reach the other side
  • A cat, focusing on a prey that is much too big for him.
  • A little child crawling on a big road, where the road is a symbol for his or her life that comes. Every life is a challenge on its own.
  • A mountaineer reaching for the top
  • Something weird, like Leornardo Da Vinci, trying to fly with some home made wings 😉
  • The daily life in some poor countries. How to survive.
  • A weightlifter trying to lift something way to heavy
  • A fisherman trying to get in a really huge fish
  • An overweight man or woman on a scale trying to loose weight
  • A photographer sitting in front of a beautiful landscape waiting for the sunrise to shoot the picture of his lifetime
  • Running out the bulls in Spain (Pamplona)
  • A man in a canoe from the back, just before he goes down a waterfall

Well, these are just some examples I could think about in only a few minutes. Try to keep the word Challenge in your mind and you will see that in daily life all around you, there are continuously challenges. Write them down and see, if you can visualise one of the ideas in a single strong image. Think about it when you create a composite, it should be convincing and realistic. At least if you want to participate in this year’s contest. Keep in mind that unlike other years, the closing time for sending in your images is 31 October 2016!! For more information, check the website of the HIPA.

If you want to participate with this year’s HIPA, but you don’t know how to create convincing composites, you can check my tutorials 😉