Artist's look at the world in a different way, at least I do, and so should you. We tend to observe every thing we see, make mental notes for reference, and use what we take for guidance on our next project. Although not as good as our minds eye, here are some links to resources I sometimes use for reference, and I would like to share with you. 3D.SK
Taking your own photographs is the easiest way to get references of a subject. They're also essential if it's a subject you're not going to encounter again easily.
Take at least half-a-dozen photographs, none of which need be the perfect. You'll use these together to reconstruct the element in your mind's eye. On any given project I may use hundreds, if not thousands, of reference photos. With today's drive capacity you shouldn't have a problem building up a very robust library of custom reference photos.