View Full Version : Finding original things to photograph...
09-05-2010, 05:22 AM
Lot of times I'd walk around see something that catches my eye and take a picture of it. Most of the time, it's something old, or things I shot before ( theme wise ), but in the process I'm sure I miss some stuff that could make great photographs. A simple mail box, a tree, a door. Just boring things you see every day.
Does it just take practice to see that great shot, or do you have to know what you are looking for?
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09-05-2010, 11:28 AM
Everyone's experience is different, however, I'll share mine.
Before I got back into photography in a big way I feel like I walked through life with my eyes closed. With camera in hand I would go for a walk and look. Really look. Check different angles, look up, look down, look all around. Climb on a park bench, lay down in the grass all in an effort of getting the next shot. I've been doing this for a solid couple of years now and I've gotten to the point where I notice shadows that others don't notice. I see bluejays or finches where others just see birds if they notice them at all. I see patterns of light and objects in places where people barely take a second look.
I'm sure I still miss a ton of shots but I get a lot more than I used to get. Keep your eyes open and keep shootin'! :)
09-05-2010, 08:23 PM
For me, part of the practice is staring at the photo afterward. If something catches my eye but I can't quite get it framed right I'll sometimes take the picture anyway. I can look at it at my leisure and fiddle with cropping and so on. It's almost certain that I'll end up deleting it, but that's not the point in those cases. The point, for me, is to see what it looks like when I have time to study it. It's been a revealing exercise.
The other thing that's useful is having a sense of wonder. I can't tell you how many times I've crawled along the ground or balanced on a rock to get a close look at something. I don't always photograph it, but I do usually get a smile out of whatever I'm looking at. You might get the occasional stare at first, but if people see you often enough they'll get used to it.
I think in the end the answer to your question is a bit of both. Sometimes I have an idea of where I want to go and what I want to shoot and how I want to shoot it, other times I go out to see what there is to see and try a bunch of different angles and settings when I find something.
You may end up with a ton of shots every time you go out, at least for a while, so it helps to be fairly ruthless when weeding them. For me that means making a fast decision in most cases and not second guessing myself. Might be it would be a great picture if I'd known how to process it, but that's OK. There will be other pictures, as well as other missed pictures. Life is full of things like that.
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