Where to look for something to photograph

Originally, I had often thought that to use a location or subject that you are comfortable with is the ideal thing if you are looking for something to photograph, but, for me, because of the familiarity with the location or subject everything looks “normal“, nothing inspires you to take the photograph and you think to yourself, there’s nothing here that interests me.

It’s always the same, you see these items or these scenes everyday and you are so familiar with them that there’s nothing “special”  about it that demands that you photograph it, nothing looks unusual enough, or stands out from the norm that would entice you to take a photograph.

The solution? Get out, go somewhere different, the change in scenery inevitably does the trick.

Nikhil and I have developed a habit of, every now and then, getting out of the office and take a midday walk, other than just getting away from the toll of everyday work, it gives us an opportunity to get some fresh air and also see what is out there to photograph.  Two Fridays ago, he came by an afternoon and said “Can you get away for a few minutes? I want to take a few photos”, and away we went, I got a few that I considered worthy enough to upload to the site, you can click on these to see the larger images:

Canal at Cowan


Sometimes, it’s even a place you’ve been before, but something new catches your eye, it could be a new element, or different positioning of old ones, often enough it’s just how the light works on the same old subjects, the scene changes as the sun makes its way across the meridians and the same scene looks vastly different in June than it did in November.  On a family outing during Easter, on what would have been “just another day” I actually came away with quite a few photos that I thought I should share, some have already been uploaded and these are some to add:

Lock Blue

On the most recent of those midday walks I mentioned I came back with some rather nice ones, my favourites being the Sepia rendered ones;

Midday ContemplationIrving's Fruits

So, I truly believe that if you’re stuck in a rut with the types of photography, if you have the photographer’s equivalent of Writer’s Block, just grab the camera, and take a walk, it could be a block away, or just out the door, a change of scenery may be all your need.  You should have a general idea of where you normally pass, don’t go there, change your route, take the long way home  🙂  Or if you are like most people these days and go everywhere in a vehicle, stop!  Drive to a spot somewhere along your normal route and get out, take a walk and maybe you’ll see things just a little differently.  If you’re in Georgetown (or New York City), having someone with you is probably a good idea, they can watch your back or even spot something you missed, just remember, if you’re going out, take the camera with you.

6 thoughts on “Where to look for something to photograph

  1. You are absolutely right. Every so often you need to get out a bit and go change your environment. It is curious how just moving a bit out of your routine can inspire.

    You don’t even need to go very far. Most of the times we travel from destination to destination, spending time and effort only when we reach where we are going.

    Making the journey into the destination can do wonders.

  2. Pingback: Where to look for something to photograph (via The Michael Lam Collection’s Blog) « Bad Light, Good Light

  3. Pingback: Opportunity. « Bad Light, Good Light

  4. I do not have the luxury of fellow photographers to go on shoots with so its often me and I rarely have time to go shooting so most of my pictures are now from trips (weekend getaways, work, church or I just happened to have the camera with me)

    While I agree that change of scenery can be good I think you can also see pictures in normal everyday situations and some of your captures can attest to that approach. Stopping to shoot is not as easy here in the US and I am more often a driver than a passenger so shooting is not an option.

    Environmental changes can make such a difference in the same location in different times of the year.

    1. Cynthia Preston

      My youngest daughter is not in the habit of recording her ‘adventures’ photograph or in word but occasionally she realises we are all waiting to hear whats happening to her, three or so years ago she got a contract as a labourer with a surveying company up North WAY up North in the arctic circle, being as she put it a “pocket, for the surveyor” carrying his bits and bobs, his stakes, flags whatever, wearing boots too big for her size 5 feet as hers had been left on board the little pond jumper she had flown in on from Yellowknife. Beginning to blister after a slipper climb several miles from camp the surveyor left her behind on a hill, in the emptiness and silence of the tundra to “organise a rescue” Her words painted such a beautiful picture not even a photograph could have captured her description which was as much a picture of spirit as it was of landscape. Such words AND such photographs are both vital ways of sharing our experiences, So maybe its hard to stop on a busy 18 lane highway, but the sights we see even when we are driving can, when we stop and slow down be conveyed with a little effort and reflection. Some times I let my husband drive just so I can take MY little camera and capture something on a busy highway I normally only glimpse in a fleeting way, for my delight if no other.
      Now if I could just retrieve my pictures from last years vacation on the 10 hour ferry run from Prince Rupert BC to Port Hardy down the inside passage on the West Coast of British Columbia, and all the other pictures I took over 500 in all, that I was editing when my last computor crashed Earlier this year!!!! I found a wonderful photography store in Red Deer which enlarges digitals and can fill in my case poor resolution pics, I had some really nice magical photos I would love to hang on my wall…..

  5. Pingback: Photos From a Midday Walk « The Michael Lam Collection's Blog

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