Writers are Just Time-Travellers in Disguise
To travel is a gift for a writer. New sights, smells, colours and people! It's always amazing to see how far your imagination can run. Sometimes it's not possible to travel- such is the nature of our world. One must work to afford to travel and then one must find time from work to do the travel you've saved for...
Going back through old photos and reliving the places you've been in your mind is almost like what reading does. It gives you a new sense of the world around you by taking you to a different place. And sometimes it really is just a matter of adjustment. As they say, change is as good as a holiday!
I love to go through old pictures, or new pictures- illustrations of places within other people's imaginations. Building the world for SELF/LESS both in The Underground and The Metropolis, it's so much fun researching images that connect with the things I see in my head. I have countless Pinterest boards with characters and places I'm collecting (you can see one here) and it all helps build the 'realness' of the story.
When you're stuck for ideas, try looking at pictures of places you've never been, or the places you're imagining- even for writing poetry. It can truly help to let your mind place in places your body can't be.