We have all been there before, the photographer’s equivalent of writer’s block. You know what I mean, when all you have to photograph is normal everyday things you see all the time and the complete lack of motivation to photograph them.
How to Find Interesting Images In Ordinary/Everyday Locations
I dealt with it this very weekend. I couldn’t drive out to the location I wanted to go to photograph, so I was stuck here in town with only things that I have shot a million times before as subjects. I have to tell you, it was rather deflating to think about.
But how can you overcome this lack of inspiration and motivation? What can you do to see things differently, find new and interesting ways to photograph the things you look at everyday? Well, for me, it all starts with perspective.
1. Change Your Perspective
Take some time to think about how you normally view these places and things. For example, a park. If you normally walk the trail one direction, do it differently this time and walk the opposite direction. Another great technique is to get low. We all see our surroundings looking from the top down. Try getting on the ground and looking at things from the ground up and you may notice some interesting things you never did before.
A simple change of perspective can have a great effect on how you view and see the environment you are in and you may notice things about that location that you never did before.
2. Change Your Light
The other thing you can do besides changing your perspective is to simply go to that place at a different time of day than you normally would. As photographers, we know that light has a profound effect on how things look. So, it would stand to reason that if you visit a park in the morning normally, that it would look different in the evening – at least, different enough so that things that wouldn’t catch your eye in the morning, might do so in the evening.
3. Keeping Your Eyes Open
It can be easy to walk through places you have been many times before on autopilot – perhaps, walking with your head down or looking at the path ahead of you. While this is a great technique for thinking, it doesn’t help you find interesting or inspiring photographs in ordinary places. So keep your head up and on a swivel, constantly be looking around for things that catch your eye.
Stop every once and a while and do a 360 degree turn and take in your surroundings. You may look like a crazy person doing this every few minutes, but you will find a ton of things to photograph that you never noticed before at that location.
More Great Tips from Mike Browne
The tips above are my own ideas and thoughts on the subject, but fellow photographer Mike Browne has put out a wonderful video with some great ideas and demonstration for finding the interesting out of the mundane. It’s a great little video, and if you are feeling uninspired, I recommend you give it a few minutes of your time.
It is easy to become complacent and forget about the beauty around us every day. We have all heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and that extends to our environments as well. One man’s every day, is another man’s new adventure.
So get out there and shoot! Find some interesting things in places that you no longer find interesting. You may just do some of your best work, and create some of your most rewarding images…