Where does one get photograph ideas? Well, often from looking at other photographs. I remember in passing seeing just a feather photographed on a dark background. So when I was walking around Crescent Lake Park last weekend, home to many birds, and I saw some feathers on the ground, I took two home to experiment with. I am not 100% satisfied with the results, but I learned more about what kind of shots I can make right in the tight quarters of my own living room.
Now that I have tried this feather photograph experiment I realize in the future how I would position things differently in order to produce results more like I previsualized. Finding more colorful feathers might add more to the shots as well.
I stuck the feathers through the top of a tissue box to get them to stand up straight and position the brolly on a light stand well behind the feathers so as to have minimal light spill on the wall behind the feathers which I wanted to be as dark as possible. If you already have a DSLR and an external flash, then getting the gear seen in this photo (brolly, light stand, umbrella head, radio triggers) to allow you to start having strobist fun, would require around $100.